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The Alzheimer Caregiver Initiative receives national recognition | Local news

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PLATTSBURGH – The SUNY Plattsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative has been recognized nationally for services provided in northern New York.

The initiative, which provides free support services to caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, is cited as a rising star of 2020 by the ARCH national breathing network and the Resource Center, one of only five nationwide. receive this distinction.

“We have been thrilled to receive such a distinct award and believe it is a significant validation of the hard work we have put into the program,” said Dr. Richard Durant, director of the neuropsychology initiative and clinic and of the psychoeducational services hosted in the Center for neurobehavioural health in Sibley Hall.

The associate professor of clinical neuropsychology said he was also proud “and honored to provide this service to dementia caregivers in northeastern New York.”

“Our services support healthcare professionals, regardless of where they are on their journey,” he said.

“It is important that healthcare professionals know that they are not alone and that resources are available to them as they go through the obstacles of care.”

Virtual support during COVID

These resources include the monthly Memory Café, support groups, educational training and relief services, as well as educational materials provided free of charge to caregivers.

When COVID stopped the meetings and services in person, the Caregiver Assistance Initiative went on remotely, providing virtual services that include webinars and discussion groups.

“Service consultations, support groups, educational programs, memorial coffees and healthcare worker conferences are still practically delivered,” Durant said. “While our respite program has seen a decrease in participation, we have been able to obtain approval from the state’s Department of Health to fund more pragmatic services under the respite program to include house cleaning and shopping. . “

The support initiative for Alzheimer’s caregivers seeks to ease the emotional and financial burdens that are unduly incumbent on New Yorkers who take care of loved ones who live with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, Durant said. With 1 million “informal carers” providing over one billion hours of unpaid care, the initiative has provided services to over 2,000 carers in the northern country since 2016.

Supports healthcare professionals in six counties

“This includes caregivers in the counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Washington,” said Durant. “We have developed and implemented programs that demonstrate that these services are critical to reducing caregiver stress and health risks while improving the quality of life of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.”

The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource works to assist and promote the development of quality relief and crisis programs in the United States, to help families find relief and crisis services in their communities and to act as a voice for the truce in all forms.

“Dr. Durant and his staff have done an excellent job of serving the North Country community in recent years through the support initiative for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers, “said Dr. Michael Morales, interim director of the Center for Neurobehavioral. Health. “This is a well-deserved recognition.”

‘Group effort’

In addition to the Department of Health, the college and the SUNY Research Foundation. Durant was also ready to indicate the support of the Sibley Hall team.

“This is definitely a team effort,” he said. “Thanks to Valarie Drown, co-director of the project, Kimberly Comisky, regional truce coordinator and Lee Vera, administrative truce assistant, for the countless hours of troubleshooting, planning and implementation of the truce program. Overall, the initiative has been a very successful program and the entire staff has been an integral part of making every component work. I am grateful for all of them. “

For more information on the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative, its programs and services, visit www.wehelpcaregivers.com or call the Caregiver telephone support line at 800-388-0199.

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