DHSS Press Release
|Date: October 18, 2015
|Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
DHSS AWARDED $898,324 FEDERAL GRANTS TO EXPAND SERVICES FOR DELAWAREANS WITH ALZHEIMER'S AND RELATED DISORDERS
NEW CASTLE (Oct. 18, 2015) - The U.S. Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging has awarded the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) a three-year federal grant to expand services to people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Delaware was one of 11 states, Alzheimer's Associations, universities, and other organizations awarded grants.
Division Director Jill Rogers said the $898,324 grant will be used to improve the responsiveness of Delaware's system of long-term services and supports for people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their families. In partnership with the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter and other key stakeholders, the goal of the project is to fill the gaps in Delaware's dementia-capable system.
Rogers said the grant builds on the Delaware State Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, which was released in 2014. Specifically, she said the funds will be used to:
- Broaden the existing legal services program in Delaware to address the specific needs of individuals and caregivers.
- Develop a pilot sensor technology program to protect the health and safety of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders who live alone.
- Develop a training and consultation program through the Delaware Caregiver Resource Center to support family caregivers.
- Expand the availability of respite vouchers for caregivers through the Delaware Lifespan Respite Program.
- Expand the availability of community integration services for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders through the Community Living Program.
"Unfortunately, Alzheimer's affects thousands of Delawareans and can have a profound impact on their health and safety, the lives of their caregivers, and our state's health care costs," U.S. Sen. Tom Carper said. "This federal grant will offer preventative support to try to thwart costly medical complications down the road, and ease the burden on caregivers while we desperately seek a cure for this disease."
"Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that has stolen too many Americans from their loved ones," Sen. Chris Coons said. "Though our understanding of this disease has progressed remarkably over the last 15 years, there is still no known cure or treatment capable of slowing its progression. I'm thankful that the U.S. Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging has awarded Delaware with this three-year grant to serve the more than 17,000 Delawareans fighting this disease."
"Alzheimer's is a painful, heart-wrenching disease. It steals memories, unfairly burdens caregivers, and puts a tremendous weight on our healthcare system," said U.S. Rep. John Carney. "Delaware stakeholders, including the state, the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, and advocates within our community, have put together a thoughtful, strategic plan to battle the disease in our state. I'm grateful that Delaware has received federal funding to improve the lives of those fighting this battle, and to help those supporting them. I hope that our success will become a model for other states."
An estimated 17,000 Delawareans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's disease today. Between 2015 and 2025, the number of persons age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease in Delaware is expected to grow by over 35 percent to 23,000 people. "Alzheimer's disease is a public health crisis, and exacts a significant impact on individuals, families and state and federal governments," said Katie Macklin, Delaware executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter. "With an aging population at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's and the number of caregivers growing each year, it will become increasingly important for Delaware to be prepared with dementia-capable services for people at all stages of the disease. We are thankful for the partnership with the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, and other statewide partners, in implementing our state plan for addressing the issues faced by Delaware families impacted by Alzheimer's." The risk of Alzheimer's disease increases as people age. Of Americans age 65 and older, one in nine has Alzheimer's. In Delaware, the population age 65 and older is projected to double between 2000 and 2030 to more than 250,000. By 2030, the state is projected to have the ninth-highest proportion of people age 65 and older in the United States.
"This federal funding will help us increase supports for individuals with Alzheimer's and their caregivers," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "Because the vast majority of caregivers in our state are unpaid and caring for those they love in their homes, we also must increase awareness of these and other resources and supports. We place a priority on supporting caregivers so they can continue to provide care for their loved ones without exacting a greater toll on their physical, mental or emotional health."
Most people survive an average of eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder. However, some individuals can live with Alzheimer's for as many as 20 years, placing increasingly intensive demands on caregivers and negatively affecting the health of caregivers, as well as their employment, income and financial security. As the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer's disease is the only cause among the top 10 without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
To find aging and disability services in Delaware, contact the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center at (800) 223-9074 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or go to delawareADRC.com. For more information about Alzheimer's disease and services in Delaware, go to: alz.org/desjsepa/
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.