Governor Cuomo announced $67.5 million has been awarded to nine organizations across the state for the development of programs that support the family members who care for the nearly 380,000 New Yorkers living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The awards are part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Initiative, which was announced earlier this year as part of the 2015-16 Executive Budget.
"Alzheimer's Disease affects thousands of New Yorkers each year and takes a devastating toll on both patients and the caregivers," Governor Cuomo said. "This investment will provide a wide range of support and respite services for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's and similar diseases."
The Governor's Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Initiative seeks to alleviate the emotional and financial burdens that are unduly placed upon New Yorkers who care for loved ones living with Alzheimer's. There are a total of 1 million of these informal caregivers in New York State who provide 1.1 billion hours of unpaid care.
Award recipients will receive $7.5 million over the course of five years to develop programs that support informal caregivers through evidence-based approaches like care consultations, educational resources, support groups, and respite services. Past evidence shows that these services are vital to reducing caregiver stress and health risks, while also improving the quality of life for Alzheimer's patients.
The nine organizations receiving awards are:
- Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY Chapter
- Research Foundation for SUNY Plattsburgh
- Catholic Charities of Buffalo
- Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc.
- Northeast Health Foundation, Inc.
- Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation
- Sunnyside Community Services, Inc.
- New York University School of Medicine
- Presbyterian Senior Services, Inc.
New York State Senate Aging Committee Chair Sue Serino said, "Caregivers play a significant role in helping our seniors age with dignity. Those caring for family and friends whose lives have been forever changed by Alzheimer's and dementia face an incredibly unique set of challenges. I thank the Governor for recognizing the need to provide this critical support and I thank our State's countless caregivers for all that you do to help our seniors maintain their quality of life."
New York State Senate Aging Committee Ranking Member Rev. Ruben Diaz said, "As the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Aging, I strongly support efforts to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research to reduce the risk of dementia. I remain committed to advocating for the necessary resources for persons who are diagnosed with memory loss, and for their family members and caregivers."
New York State Assembly Aging Committee Chair Steven Cymbrowitz said, "Tending to the needs of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia is often a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job that takes its toll on the health and well-being of the caregiver, and without sufficient support family members cannot possibly sustain the level of care that their relative requires. This funding will help organizations that assist caregivers to meet the needs of this rapidly growing population."
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Caregivers often devote inordinate amounts of time, energy and resources into the task of caring for their loved ones. Many times, they are physically and emotionally exhausted, and financially impacted by their responsibilities. These funds will help the organizations find ways to develop evidence-based strategies that support our state’s caregivers, including those who provide long-distance care."
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and the number of cases in New York State is expected to increase from 380,000 to 460,000 by 2025. More than half of New York's Alzheimer's patients live at home, and 75 percent of those who do, live with a friend or family member who provides care.