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Willing Hearts, Helpful Hands: The Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Initiative

April 1, 2017

Parker's Nerken Center for Research and Grants has been awarded a multi-year grant to support family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia throughout Long Island. Parker is receiving this funding as a part of a large statewide program designed to relieve family caregiver stress.

The Caregiver Support Initiative, funded by the New York State Department of Health, will make it possible for Parker to expand to now serve families in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. For the past eight years, Parker has provided caregiver services in Queens through its Willing Hearts, Helpful Hands Program.

Through the Caregiver Initiative, a total of 1,000 caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease will be served this year by Parker staff and community partners. Specific programs offered include care consultations, case management, educational resources, support groups and respite. Additionally, a total of 300 volunteers, known as caregiver companions, will receive training through Parker and provide a host of home based supports to individuals with Alzheimer's such as friendly visiting, light chores, telephone reassurance and leisure activities. Volunteers will assist the Alzheimer's client while the caregiver takes a break and attends to personal needs, appointments and visits. Scholarships are available for social model and home care programs based on need and extreme burden of care.

Alzheimer's disease afflicts an estimated 5.3 million Americans. The number of cases in New York State alone is expected to increase from 380,000 to 460,000 by 2025. More than one half of New York's Alzheimer's patients live at home and 75 percent of those who do live with a friend or a family member who provides care. There are an estimated 50,000 persons afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementia throughout Long Island.

There are 1 million informal caregivers throughout New York State who provide 1.1 billion hours of unpaid care. These services are vital to reducing caregiver stress and health risks while also improving the quality of life for Alzheimer's patients.

For further information, please contact us at 1-877-727-5373, 718-289-2137 or

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