A new $7.5 million grant from New York State will enable The Eddy – an affiliate of St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) – to expand the community programming it offers to assist and comfort Capital Region residents who are caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The grant is one of nine awarded to organizations across the New York as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative. The initiative seeks to alleviate the emotional and financial burdens that are unduly placed upon state residents who care for the nearly 380,000 New Yorkers living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. There are a total of 1 million of these informal caregivers in New York State who provide 1.1 billion hours of unpaid care.
“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.”
“Caring for a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be physically and emotionally challenging,” said Kim Baker, chief executive officer of The Eddy and vice president of continuing care for SPHP. “This grant will allow us to expand the services, programs, resources, and support we offer to families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. We are very thankful to Governor Cuomo.”
The Eddy started offering services for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers in the 1980s. Today, its Eddy Alzheimer’s Services program offers a comprehensive range of dementia care services, including medical diagnosis, care management, education and outreach support, and compassionate care for individuals and family living and coping with memory loss.
As part of the grant, The Eddy plans to hire two new employees to serve as Alzheimer’s care navigators. These navigators will be responsible for helping families and caregivers of newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients find needed resources, services, and community connections.
The Eddy and its grant collaborators also will use the grant funding to continue offering support groups, education, and wellness programming designed specifically for Alzheimer’s caregivers across a 10-county region. This region includes Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Columbia, Greene, Fulton, Montgomery, Delaware, and Schoharie counties.
Additionally, The Eddy will use the grant funding to expand its successful Alzheimer’s Care Team program. The program offers non-medical, volunteer respite services provided by 24 care teams from area religious organizations. These care teams currently offer more than 6,000 hours of volunteer care every year to community Alzheimer’s caregivers, giving those caregivers a break from their highly demanding role. With the grant, The Eddy plans to form new teams to serve in rural areas with limited available community services.