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North Carolina receives funding to support caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients

Release Date: September 30, 2010
Contact: Lori Walston, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH: Governor Bev Perdue announced today that North Carolina has received more than $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging through two grants that will provide support to caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

North Carolina currently has more than 170,000 older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. By 2030, the total number is projected to rise to nearly 300,000.

Nearly a quarter of the state’s residents are providing regular care or assistance to an older adult with a long-term illness or disability. Almost half of these caregivers report that the person they are caring for has memory loss, confusion or a disorder like Alzheimer’s disease.

“This funding provides crucial support for those families, so that they can continue caring for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease,” Perdue said. “It will help keep them in their homes and communities for as long as possible.”

The $826,638 that North Carolina is to receive is the third-highest among 24 awards to states/territories for the Community-Based Alzheimer’s Support projects.  These funds will be used to expand the work of Project C.A.R.E. ("Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty") an Alzheimer’s support program administered through the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, in up to 25 additional counties across the state over the next three years. This expansion will increase the capacity of the program from the 23 counties currently served to a total of up to 48 counties across North Carolina.

“Recent studies estimate that over 70% of people with Alzheimer’s disease in North Carolina are cared for at home or in the community by family members and friends,” said Dennis Streets, director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services. “In order to continue their care, families need a strong network of community support; these funds will help support our efforts with Project C.A.R.E. to provide the services these families need.”

Through the Evidence-Based Cooperative Agreements to Better Serve People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD), states demonstrate how existing evidence-based interventions that help people with ADRD and their family caregivers can be translated into effective supportive service programs at the community level. North Carolina is among nine states receiving cooperative agreements to implement evidence-based interventions that already have been shown to be effective in helping families cope with ADRD.

North Carolina’s allocation is $500,000 for this year, and the total planned budget award for three years is $1.5 million.  The evidence-based intervention, REACH II (“Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health”) will be piloted through Project C.A.R.E. as an additional service option for families needing a more intensive level of support and assistance.

Through a second grant, Innovation Cooperative Agreements to Better Serve People with Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders, states and their partners are exploring innovative approaches to improving the delivery of supportive services at the community-level to people with ADRD and their family caregivers. In 2010, 19 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico received cooperative agreements to test new ideas for supporting people affected by these diseases. 

North Carolina is one of 21 states to receive funds under this category.  The state’s allocation is $326,638. The recipient is the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. Through this grant, a new physician education and outreach initiative will be expanded in up to four counties in the piedmont area. In an effort to better link physicians with dementia-capable community resources, this grant will also fund the expansion of Project C.A.R.E. in the targeted counties.  

North Carolina is one of six states to get funds in both categories.  

Further information on the grant awards

More information on Project C.A.R.E.
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