With this new grant, NYU Langone’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Family Support Program, initially launched in 2016, is able to provide caregivers with expanded opportunities to engage with each other in a supportive and educational environment.
“This vital funding will enable us to continue providing support services for those caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, who themselves face an incredible burden to their mental and physical health,” says Mary S. Mittelman, DrPH, a research professor of psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who also directs the program.
The award is part of New York State’s Regional Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative to support family caregivers of New Yorkers living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia throughout New York State. The core services of the program were embodied in the NYU Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI), which was developed and evaluated by Dr. Mittelman in a randomized controlled trial funded by the National Institutes of Health from 1987 to 2010, and replicated widely throughout the United States and several other countries. Published research demonstrated that the NYUCI improved emotional and practical support that helps family members navigate caregiving, enabling them to keep relatives with dementia at home and out of long-term care facilities 1.5 years longer than on average; economic models suggest the NYUCI, if widely available, could result in millions in government savings.
The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Family Support Program offers a menu of evidence-based interventions and programs free of charge, both online and in person, for family caregivers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Referrals can be made to caregivers from other areas to appropriate local resources. Each caregiver who enrolls in the program receives support tailored to their needs. Care consultation is available to help family members address changes in their daily lives as well as managing their relationships. Additional programs for caregivers include workshops and lectures on how to provide good care, obtain support, identify and access resources, implement legal and financial planning, and respond to the challenges of dementia.
The program also provides support groups and informal gatherings for family caregivers, including seminars on how to use art and music to create positive experiences for those with dementia and the Buddy Program, which pairs an adult in the early stage of dementia with an NYU student.
These services will be offered to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia caregivers in partnership with a network of care centers in upper and lower Manhattan.