Expanded borough-based Alzheimer’s services coming to Brooklyn

February 19, 2014 Editorial Staff
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Brooklynites are poised to benefit from expansion of services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers already available in-borough.

The New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association recently announced a $348,000 grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to expand its current satellite office in Brooklyn, and to open a new office in Queens.

The grant will allow the chapter to provide consistent and wide-spread programming in Brooklyn and Queens, enabling borough residents to benefit from the Chapter’s extensive expertise in dementia care.

Specifically, the grant will allow the chapter to expand its services at the satellite office, located in the Brooklyn Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Launched in 2011, the chapter’s satellite office employs a full-time care consultant and provides social services, information and referrals, as well as caregiver support and counseling. Thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation grant, new programs for caregivers and people with dementia will be added to the existing services and will be made available throughout the borough.

This model will be replicated in Queens where, for the first time, residents will be able to receive face-to-face individual and family counseling in their home borough, avoiding trips to Manhattan to meet with a care consultant.

Both satellite offices will provide a permanent presence in those boroughs and will offer an array of support groups, workshops and educational programs. The design and development of this initiative will also serve as a template for similar programs in other communities across New York City.

Lou-Ellen Barkan, chapter president and CEO, said, “Over the past decade, the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has greatly expanded both awareness of Alzheimer’s and our borough-based services.

“Alzheimer’s experts from the chapter routinely travel from our headquarters in midtown Manhattan to community centers, hospitals and diagnostic centers throughout the five boroughs to offer an array of free programs in English, Chinese, Russian and Spanish,” Barkan added, noting,“In fact, we currently offer 56 support groups in Brooklyn and Queens, but without additional direct, in-borough services we simply cannot keep up with the need. We also cannot ignore the harsh reality that many in the Brooklyn and Queens Alzheimer’s communities are unable to travel to Manhattan for the help they so desperately need.”

A recent community needs assessment conducted by the chapter revealed that many clients cannot travel for services because of their demanding caregiving responsibilities, their own disabilities, or a discomfort with leaving their neighborhood. The same study also indicated that almost 75 percent of caregivers said they would attend Alzheimer’s support and educational programs if they were offered closer to home.

“Now, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be able to bring assistance where it’s needed most – into the communities of the people we serve,” Barkan added.

It is estimated that, today, more than 500,000 New York City residents either have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia or are taking care of someone who has the disease.

For information about Alzheimer’s disease, resources and programs, visit www.alz.org/nyc or call the 24-hour helpline anytime at 1-800-272-3900.

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