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Grant Program Delivers Alzheimer’s Care to Families in Need

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Until you’ve cared for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, it’s difficult to understand the toll it can take on family caregivers.

“People who know little about dementia do not understand the all-encompassing stress of being a caregiver. It is too much.” Those powerful words come from family caregiver Barbara, who cared for her mother with dementia until she passed away a few years ago.

Barbara was pursuing a college degree when her mother was diagnosed with dementia. When the caregiving burden became too much for her mother’s husband to handle, Barbara moved her mother into her own home.

“I had a lot going on in my life, but having my mom quadrupled that,” Barbara says. “Suddenly you have to take responsibility for every aspect of another person’s life: financial, legal. You have to be their health advocate. It takes a lot of stamina to get everything done.”

And, of course, family caregivers also have to provide the daily assistance their loved one needs. Providing care to a parent or spouse with a chronic disease can consume every second of your day. It can become hard to find the time to take a moment for yourself. Being stretched so thin can lead to guilt because you feel you cannot be all the places you should be, doing all the things you should be doing—especially if you have no other family members to help you, as was Barbara’s case.

Several months into her caregiving journey, Barbara heard about the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program, a project of Home Instead Senior Care®, Hilarity for Charity and the Alzheimer’s Association. “I belong to a closed group on Facebook for Alzheimer’s caregivers, and it mentioned the grant program so I thought I would fill out the application,” Barbara said.

Hilarity for Charity and the Alzheimer’s Association Grants

The grant program awards caregiving grants to families throughout the U.S. and Canada to give them support and rest. Tapping funds raised by Hilarity for Charity, an initiative spearheaded by comedian Seth Rogen and his wife to raise money and Alzheimer’s awareness, the grants offer free professional caregiving services through a local Home Instead Senior Care franchise.

When Rogen married actress Lauren Miller, he married into the “Alzheimer’s family.” You see, Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with the condition a few years ago, at age 55. Rogen quickly learned what a toll Alzheimer’s can take on both the affected person and the family caregivers. As he once told CNN, "I think until you see it firsthand, it's kind of hard to conceive of how brutal it is. Until I saw it, you just don't get how heartbreaking it can be."

Because of their very personal experience with Alzheimer’s, Rogen and Miller created a movement called Hilarity for Charity®. The movement aims to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s and raise funds to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Hilarity for Charity’s partnership with Home Instead Senior Care provides grants for in-home Alzheimer’s care at no cost to families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Locally owned Home Instead Senior Care franchises across the U.S. and Canada have also pledged more than 37,000 hours of in-home care services, valued at $740,000, to supplement the monetary funding provided by Hilarity for Charity for this program.

The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant program delivers much-needed help to families throughout the U.S. and Canada. All you have to do to be considered for a grant is fill out a grant application.

The grant program includes a free home care consultation so you can learn more about how these services can benefit your loved one (and you, as a family caregiver!). Alzheimer’s care services funded through the grant program will be delivered by a highly skilled and trained CAREGiverSM. Here are a few of the many ways professional in-home Alzheimer’s care can benefit your loved one:

  • Allows the senior to remain safe at home
  • Encourages engagement
  • Provides nutritious meals
  • Creates social interaction
  • Provides mind-stimulating activities
  • Tracks changing behaviors
  • Honors who the senior was earlier in life
  • Supports the family

These Alzheimer’s care grants make it possible for you to get some time for yourself – to recharge your caregiving battery – while enjoying the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing your loved one is receiving top-notch care.

The First Thing Barbara Did with her Free Time

“To be honest, I forgot all about the application after I submitted it,” Barbara said. “Then, a few months later, I heard I’d received an award for 25 hours of care per week for 52 weeks. I called my local Home Instead Senior Care office to arrange it.”

While the award is financial in nature, perhaps the greatest benefit it confers to caregivers is the gift of time. “Receiving the grant freed me up to leave the house, because Mom was at the stage where she couldn’t be left alone,” said Barbara.

Barbara’s mother could not be left alone for any length of time, due to the severity of her dementia. That meant Barbara had to provide 24-hour supervision, with no time to take care of her own needs. She couldn’t even take a few minutes to tend her yard.

“The grant affected my quality of life tremendously,” Barbara said. “The first thing I did was take some time for myself. If I wanted to go down in the yard and do something for a while, I could do it. If I needed to run down to the post office, I could do it.”

The grant also benefited Barbara’s mother by providing social stimulation from someone other than her daughter. “I think the biggest benefit for Mom was the fact she had interactions with someone different from me,” Barbara said. “Just knowing there is someone there who will hold your hand and care...that means a lot [to people with dementia].”

You do not need to demonstrate financial need to apply for an Alzheimer’s care grant. Hilarity for Charity and Home Instead Senior Care want to bring complementary high-quality in-home care to as many people as possible. Anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is eligible to apply. Apply to receive an Alzheimer’s care grant today.

Alzheimer’s is the opposite of funny. But receiving free respite care may help put a smile back on your face.

Last revised: May 6, 2019

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. March 21, 2019 at 8:18 am | Posted by Annett Bracher

    Being a primary caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's is undoubtedly very challenging and stressful. While you want to help your loved one get better, the symptoms keep on worsening and you tend to lose hope, yet again, you have to stay calm and collected for your loved one. I too have experienced the same thing. My dad had Alzheimer's and I did my best to help him feel better but this is the way it goes. He died a year ago but the good thing is, I made loads of memories with him as much a possible. For family caregivers, I would suggest asking for help regularly to get yourself some time to replenish. You may want to do it all by yourself but it can take a toll on your health and then you won't be as efficient as you should be to help your loved one.

    Reply

  2. February 17, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Posted by Jeannette bos

    Where do I get grant application papers to apply for for assistance for my spouse who has dwmentia.please contact me to start process elgibility thank you

    Reply

  3. January 21, 2019 at 11:20 am | Posted by Fona

    My husband is 86 yrs old and have onset dementia and heart disease and I'm 49yrs old we been married for 26 yrs I wanted to stay at home To care of him but we can't afford but if is there is some help for us for me to stay at home I'm so happy for that..pls let me know when I can apply..thank you so much..

    Reply

  4. November 26, 2018 at 9:56 am | Posted by Valerie Reid

    I'm so glad to know there is a grant to help. I know how hard it is to care for someone with Alzheimer's.

    Reply

  5. November 5, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Posted by Joanne Callanan

    Looking for help for a co worker who has her husband suffering from Alzheimer's He is not a senior yet and she has to have someone stay with him so she can work. Showering and any social requests he doesn't deal with well. There must be a way to get her help. Can you suggest anything.

    Reply

  6. October 26, 2018 at 9:33 am | Posted by Angela Painter

    I just had to place my 61 year old husband in assisted living due to early onset dementia brought on by sports related concussions. is there any fund for assistance for paying for this assisted living. his care had gotten beyond my ability. I have to work full time and this is such a heartbreaking disease for all involved. if I cannot secure some funding I will have to bring him back home and that is simply not possible for him or me. PLEASE HELP.

    Reply

  7. October 22, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Posted by Lisa

    I just moved in with my parents couple months ago. I work full time so my Dad (75) watches after my mom (75) during the day. Would there be any assistance available to me or my father. My father refuses for a stranger to come into his home :(

    Reply

  8. June 12, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Posted by Bruce Maxwell

    Ditto. My prayers are with you. The anguish of not being able to help financially is paralyzing. Thank you for writting your letter, so I don't have to.

    Reply

  9. May 10, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Posted by Sonya Bryan

    My Mom is my dad's primary caregiver. My mom is 76 and my dad is 81. He is in middle stages of Alzheimer's. The doctors have suggested they both go into an assisted living home but my mom does not want this. She is needing help with him daily. We would like to apply for a grant so that she may receive some help. It said applications will resume May 2018 but it still does not let me apply. Can you tell me what day in May I may apply for them?

    Reply

    • May 10, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Posted by Rich

      Hi Sonya, Our best wishes for you and your parents. As we get closer, we'll have a better idea on a specific date. Right now we are focusing on the last week in May. Please stay tuned and thanks for your patience.

      Reply

  10. April 2, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Posted by Linda Sutton

    My mother is 94 and has Alzheimer's. I pay for services from afar and my cousin is the care giver. I would like to apply for the grant. She still knows all of us but she has good and bad days.

    Reply

    • April 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Posted by Home Instead

      Thank you for your comment. Acceptance of grant applications will resume in May 2018. You can apply here https://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/get-help/hilarity-for-charity/ starting in May.

      Reply

      • August 25, 2019 at 9:53 am | Posted by Catherine Graddy

        I take care of my Auntie, She does have any children . I pay for a lady to come in once a week out of Social Security check .She is a 100 year old she has Alzheimer’s How do i get the grant.

        Reply

  11. December 9, 2017 at 6:39 am | Posted by Hope

    Dear Lord, please give us all the strength we need to carry on.

    Reply

  12. November 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Posted by Christopher J Kempton

    I been taking care of mom for ten years. She stage nine and it's horrible. I would have put her in nursing home but I'm the only one she knows . I promised not to put her in . My wife is not well. So I have her to care for. I'm on social security disability and not able to do much. I have to shuffle money every month and some things dont get paid on time. MY life is a combination of washing and changing mom washing bed cloths night gowns floors plastic on bed. Helping my wife as she has had surgery many times. Washing dishes cooking house work and theres always something new every day. I have two people that depend on me and I can handle all that but not being able to pay the bill is out of my hand. I have been borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and I'm running out of options. And have bills that I dont know how I will ever pay. I have people supposably family that haven't as much as called in ten years. Same people that run her house up to where she lost it and at least 100 thousand in deft. I would like to be able to pay all my bills in the same month. There's more but THANK YOU for letting me vent Sincerely Christopher Kempton

    Reply

  13. November 8, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Posted by Judy sackowski

    Encouraging and heartfelt story. Admiration for you.

    Reply

  14. November 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Posted by Chris Keese

    I am SO SORRY for you! I understand COMPLETELY. However, it's my SISTER that needs care and she was abused and neglected at the nursing home. All her clothes were stolen, she developed a pressure sore, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, CDIFF diarrhea and now the skin in her groin and buttocks has completely sloughed off due to being left in urine and diarrhea for days. It's pathetic and she was dressing, walking, Facebooking, playing Bingo AND was NEVER incontinent one month ago when she entered the facility for rehab. She is only 63, was a Nurse Clinician for 30+ years in maternity and worked from the day she was 16 years old. It's disgusting. oeace, PRAYERS AND Comfort FOR BOTH YOU AND YOUR mom.

    Reply

  15. October 16, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Posted by kathlene reents

    My mom had a stroke about 5 years ago and has vascular dementia. At first, we had a caregiver come to the house while I was at work but then mom got worse and there was a 2-hour window where she would have to be alone until I got back from work and I was also up all night with her which made even being at work impossible. I didn't want her to go to a nursing home. I did research the ones around us and they are heartbreaking, to say the least so I quit my job to stay home and care for her. I took care of her for 4 years on my own with no support and no help or relief of any kind. the only way we were making it financially was from my moms SS and disability and the little I was bringing in. In December of last year, she fell and had to go to a rehab center where they put her on the long-term care side because they were doing construction on the rehab side. she was there for only 3 months and the care they gave her was so poor she lost over 35 pounds and wound up in the hospital with malnutrition and severe dehydration. I removed her from there and put her into a memory care facility because I had asked her caseworker for more hours for her care at home and they gave me a total of 6.5 per day. I had quit my job to stay home and care for her 24/7 and was only being compensated by the state for 4 hours a day. well, I wound up burning out. I thought that it would be alright for us both to put her in a facility but since she has been there, there has been many issues regarding her health care, lack of following care plans, issues with safety etc. I have kept on them constantly and it just seems to be one thing after another. I wanted to keep her at home but I have no one, no family or friends to help and I just can't do it all myself. I also because of being so exhausted from caring for her had no energy to do anything else so although she had excellent care she was bored and there was no stimulation for her. I wanted to put her into a memory care daycare program but since I am disabled myself I have no money to do so. the daycare costs $20 per hour and they have to at least be there three days a week in order to participate. that is $160 per day x 3. they also charge $250 for an intake fee. so needless to say we couldn't afford it. I am trying to get her out of the facility where she is now and into one that is supposed to be an actual memory care facility. the home we both lived in for 13 years was being paid for by both of us and we were making it financially ok but now that she is in a facility and the state is taking all of her money we are losing our home. I cannot afford to live here on my own and I can't afford to rent or buy another place. If I could have only been able to physically do it all she would be home where she wants to be and we would not be losing our home. we also are losing the companionship we had with each other as her dementia worsens. I am losing the time I could be spending with my mom. It costs the state over $5000 to keep her in the facility she is in and the care she gets is awful where as if they would have only increased her hours for her to stay at home (or I would have won the lottery) they would have only been paying less than half of that for her to be home. what kind of nonsense is this. she is in a facility, alone and scared getting bare minimum care that is borderline neglectful instead of being at home where she would be safe, warm and content. I just don't understand how they think.

    Reply

    • November 6, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Posted by Deirdre

      I deeply regret you having to experience this. I lost my mother April 19, 2015. This came after loosing our dog April 15th and our bird April 17th. Needless to say the worse week of my life! One day in January, my mother stood to go the bathroom and her hip broke. Because she was functioning (walking, feeding herself, going to the bathroom, dressing herself, etc) on her own, the doctor suggested replacing the hip to restore her back to her prior condition. That was followed by rehab (YEAH RIGHT). As you stated it was awful! She was not rehabbed at all and her state consequently went from dementia to that of a two-year old child with Alzheimer's. I had just started a new job (with only part time hours) and had a freshman and senior in high school. So yes, my plate was full. No one could drive expect me and technically I had to make decisions, appoiitments and oversee everything for everyone. After the rat race of Mardi Gras (daughter in band and choir so parade after parade and Senior year chaos for the other), I decided to take my mother back home and prayed for guidance. No amount meetings with anyone was changing the state of treatment at the rehab facility . I was determined to care for her at home since her regular doctor inquired, "What are you going to to do when you can't take care of her any more?". I responded with, "Who told YOU I would not be able to take care of her?" She stated, "It happens all the time". So I informed her I am living in the moment with the moments I have with her. God will take me through tomorrow. Running behind all of my responsibilities was exhausting. Sleep did not exist only 10 to 30 minute naps day and night. A few weeks after bringing her home and turning things around, I discovered the rehab facility had allowed her to get a pressure ulcer. Down she went...she could no longer sit up so I could not take her on rides with me. We could no longer watch tv together. She became confined to a bed where I was now changing her diapers, cleaning her wound, and rolling her over every 30 minutes to an hour. The last clear thing she said to me is "I'm tired and I know you are too". Ironically, that was a day I happen to have a overwhelming burst of energy flowing through me. I thanked her for all she had done for me and my daughters. The next day I could only get her to sip water and protein drinks. The following day...nothing. The last day I lay at her side holding her hand when her eyes turned bright blue then closed. As I delivered the Eulogy at her funeral the theme was around "I learned to care for my third child". You are correct, only you "get it" like you do. Only those who have walked on your path can carry a heartfelt sympathy for your struggles. So I say to you I understand ...I Get it! Perhaps on your journey you can find inspiration from my favorite poem. I have it on a key chain, a ring, bracelet, necklace, frame, socks, coffee mug. "...It was then that I carried you"

      Reply

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