Weatherford Democrat

January 6, 2013

Alzheimer’s caregiver program to REACH into Parker County


Weatherford Democrat

— The Alzheimer’s Association announced the expansion of Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH), a program that will address the needs of those in Parker County caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease at home.

An evidence-based program that provides one-on-one education and support for caregivers, REACH will be offered by the Alzheimer’s Association at no charge in Parker County thanks to a national grant from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. To launch the program’s expansion to Parker County, the Alzheimer’s Association will host “The Science Behind Caregiver Support,” a community presentation about Alzheimer’s disease and the impact of the diagnosis on families.

Presenters will include Laura Bauer, Director of National Initiatives at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, and local Alzheimer’s expert Dr. Sheri Hull, founder of Brazos Regional Neurology. Open to the public, the event is slated for Friday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. until noon at Northside Baptist Church, 910 N. Main St. in Weatherford. The Alzheimer’s Association staff will be on hand to provide information about REACH and other local services. Reservations to attend the presentation can be made by calling 1-800-272-3900.

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including more than 340,000 Texans. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s are living in their own homes with care provided by their families.

“We know from research that caregivers who are supported throughout their caregiving journey are more likely to provide quality, safe care to their loved one, resulting in an improved quality of life for both,” according to Laura Bauer.  “We also know that those who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease suffer the highest rates of burden and depression.  Evidence-based caregiver programs, such as REACH, have shown positive results in improving the health and well-being of caregivers.”   

Through an array of local services, the Alzheimer’s Association provides information, education and support for those dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. The REACH program offers targeted support for caregivers, addressing issues such as stress, depression and other common burdens of the caregiving experience. REACH staff work with caregivers on a one-on-one basis over a six month period to help caregivers learn to take care of themselves while providing the best care possible for their loved ones as the disease progresses. 

The Alzheimer’s Association has provided REACH in Tarrant County since 2010. The new three-year grant of $150,000 from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving will enable the program to be expanded to both Parker and Johnson counties, serving more North Texas families who are coping with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association-North Central Texas Chapter was one of four social service agencies selected from a field of over 100 applicants across the country to receive a grant from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving to implement the REACH program. Based in Americus, Ga., the Rosalynn Carter Institute’s overall goal is to support caregivers, both family and professional, through efforts of advocacy, education, research and service. More information about the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving may be found at www.rosalyncarter.org.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’ care, support and research. The Alzheimer’s Association-North Central Texas Chapter has its headquarters in Fort Worth and serves a 40-county area. The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Visit www.alz.org/northcentraltexas or call 1-800-272-3900 to learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association.