Respite care scholarships available to California Central Coast residents

“These funds allow for a caregiver to come in to walk with my sister.”

The Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter announces the availability of a respite care grant as a form of financial assistance to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura County residents.

This is a reimbursement grant for in-home or adult day services, to be used by family caregivers in need of respite care for their low-income loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

“COVID-19 has made life challenging for everyone, especially persons with dementia and their caregivers,” said Kathryn Cherkas, director of programs at the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter. “As we’re seeing more COVID-19 vaccines being administered and restrictions lifting a little more, these scholarships can provide a much-needed break for local families impacted by dementia, who may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed and isolated.”

Some local residents have taken advantage of the respite care scholarships and are grateful to receive some much-needed relief.

“These funds allow for a caregiver to come in to walk with my sister,” says a grant recipient who is a primary caregiver for his sister with dementia. “This gives me time for running errands like grocery shopping which requires going on the city bus. It makes life easier for all of us.”

Short-term respite care is used by many caregivers to complete chores or household tasks that are difficult to accomplish otherwise when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. For others, it is used as time to take a break from the full-time duties and stressors of being a caregiver, allowing them to focus on self-care.

“My mom and I care for my grandmother 24 hours a day,” one caregiver said. “Receiving the respite care grant from the Alzheimer’s Association made a huge difference for our family. Our memories and down time were so renewing!”

Caregivers must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the grant. They must be able to pay initial services and will invoice the association for reimbursement; they must have proof of dementia diagnosis; the caregiver and the person with dementia must be U.S. citizens or legal residents of the U.S.; either the caregiver or the person with dementia must have lived in chapter territory (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties) for 10+ years; and they must provide proof of extreme financial need.

“This is a unique funding opportunity for our chapter, and we are excited about the opportunity to support as many caregivers as we can,” said Cherkas.

The Alzheimer’s Association is available for additional information, support and advice. To learn more or apply for a scholarship, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

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