Catholic Charities Hawai‘i Receives Three-Year Alzheimer’s Grant to Provide Education, Training and Support Services

HONOLULU, HAWAII – Catholic Charities Hawai‘i (CCH) has been awarded a three-year, $1-million dollar grant to help persons living with and those at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias (ADRD), and their caregivers.

The grant from the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL) Alzheimer’s Disease Program Initiative (ADPI) will increase dementia awareness and capability in our community and help address service gaps for this serious public health crisis.

“Catholic Charities Hawai‘i sees the impact of dementia on families and individuals in our work with over 4,000 older adults each year,” said Diane Terada of CCH’s Community & Senior Services Division. “We are grateful for this funding opportunity to increase dementia awareness and capability in our community and to provide training for caregivers of persons with dementia, as well as support for persons with dementia who live alone.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2018 Facts and Figures, an estimated 5.7 million individuals in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050 this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. Every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develops the disease, and it is now the most expensive chronic condition in the nation. (https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures)

Catholic Charities Hawaii’s ADPI project, “Hawaii Circle of Care for Dementia”, will focus on the following:

  1. Support and services for community-dwelling persons who are living alone with memory loss through an interdisciplinary team approach to assess and address their needs.
  2. Evidence-based dementia training to help caregivers deal with the behavioral challenges of dementia; and public workshops for caregivers on dementia care topics.
  3. Creation of Hawai‘i-relevant educational and informational resources for provider agencies and family caregivers who provide services and care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities with ADRD or those at high risk for developing ADRD.
  4. Empower and educate the public and workforce about dementia, brain health and risk factors.

Hawai‘i has 28,000 persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018. These figures do not include those who are undiagnosed. It is estimated that approximately 60-80% of the people who have memory loss have not received a diagnosis. (Boustani, Peterson, Hanson, Harris & Lohr, 2003 – from “The Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map”, CDC)

Alzheimer’s is considered a public health crisis, and other similar grants that have been given to agencies and organizations in Hawai‘i demonstrate the support available for states to design programs and resources to face this issue on a local level. ACL has been a champion for state ADRD support, making creative initiatives possible throughout the country.

In 2017, ACL awarded Hawaii’s Executive Office on Aging with a three-year grant “Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program” – an opportunity awarded to state governments to increase dementia-capability in its state government and agency networks.

In 2015, the University of Hawaii Center on Aging received a three-year grant from ACL, “Hawai‘i Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative” to provide quality, person-centered services that help people with ADRD and their caregivers remain safe and independent in their communities. The University of Hawai‘i Center on Aging will support the new Catholic Charities Hawai‘i grant through evaluation and community training.

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