The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving recently announced a multi-year agreement with the state of Delaware to bring the Resources Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health program to caregivers in the state.
Through the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Disabilities, the RCI-REACH program will offer caregivers support and training to help manage the stress that comes with providing care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“Mrs. Carter started the institute over 30 years ago with the mission of supporting caregivers in their journey to care for a loved one. The REACH program has been designed to do just that for those navigating the challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, Rosalynn Carter Institute executive director. “We are thrilled to extend the program to help caregivers in Delaware.”
RCI-REACH provides education, a focus on safety for both the caregiver and the care recipient, support for the caregiver, and skill building to help caregivers manage difficult behaviors and decrease their own stress. RCI-REACH is a tailored caregiver support intervention consisting of individual sessions in the home or virtually.
Dava Newnam, division director, said, “In partnering with the Rosalynn Carter Institute, DSAAPD is able to provide another opportunity to bring innovative programs to the state and support Delaware’s caregivers.”
About 17,000 Delawareans aged 65 and older – about 11 percent of the state’s senior population – are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that affects a person’s memory, cognition and behavior. As Delaware’s older population increases, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease will grow as well. Between 2015 and 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease in the state is expected to grow by 35 percent.
As the disease progresses, so do the demands on caregivers, who then need greater support. In response to this growing need, the division has been working for several years to expand services for people with dementia and their caregivers.
The key components of RCI-REACH will complement the existing caregiver training provided through Delaware’s caregiver resource centers. Delaware’s RCI-REACH coaches are trained community nurses who will be able to help caregivers navigate the complicated landscape of dementia services.
For more information, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1-800-223-9074 and go to www.rosalynncarter.org.