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Pennsylvania Department of Aging Receives Grant to Improve Alzheimer's Support
Date:9/17/2007

Funds Will Be Shared with the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Aging Nora Dowd Eisenhower announced today that Pennsylvania will receive a one-year, $325,000 grant from the National Administration on Aging to better coordinate education and support for patients with Alzheimer's disease and their families.

"In Pennsylvania, nearly 500,000 people are living with Alzheimer's and related dementias, and in many cases family members provide the bulk of support and assistance for their loved ones," said Secretary Dowd Eisenhower. "Caregivers are susceptible to stress and exhaustion while tending to someone with this difficult disease and the grant money enables us to better serve people living with Alzheimer's and enhance the ways in which we support their caregivers."

Funding will be split between the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, providing an opportunity to expand the partnership between the two organizations while offering more efficient access to Alzheimer's information and assistance. The partnership will focus on resource centers, called Links to Aging and Disability Resources, located in Cumberland and Allegheny counties.

The Link offices were recently established to increase access to programs and services by linking different state, county and not-for profit staff to provide a one-stop aging and disability resource center for Pennsylvanians. By working with the Link office concept, the grant will allow for even more efficient distribution of services and referrals through the network of organizations.

"Too often, people seeking assistance are bounced between state agencies and service associations that are eager to help, but that work independently," said Eisenhower. "Sometimes this leads to confusion or missed opportunities to connect people to the services they need."

Using the grant money in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association, and collaborating through the Link offices, programs and services are delivered based on the expertise of multiple agencies working together to support people living with the disease.

The Administration on Aging grant will also provide additional training for professionals working directly with Alzheimer's patients and the creation of an early onset support group for caregivers and persons with Alzheimer's disease. Early onset Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed in individuals under the age of 65.

To learn more about Alzheimer's disease resources available in Pennsylvania, contact the Links to Aging and Disability Resources offices at 1-866-570-5465 for the Cumberland County Link or 1-866-730-2368 for the Allegheny Link. In addition, the Alzheimer's Association has a 24-hour, toll-free helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

CONTACT: Kirk Wilson

(717) 783-1549


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging
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