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Local Chapters of Alzheimer’s Association Splitting from National

When a doctor tells a family a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, they face a myriad of emotions and questions. What does this mean for their family member? What treatments are available? What are the options for long-term Alzheimer’s care? What do we know about this disease? What will the future look like? Are there financial resources? Are there local facilities to help?

The national Alzheimer’s Association consists of local chapters under the general management of the national organization. Local chapters have their own boards and give 40 percent of their raised funds to sponsor the goals of the national governance. They use the remaining 60 percent locally to provide assistance specifically needed in the community. Board members and staff know that the face-to-face, local connection is vital to supporting families through a difficult time.

Recent changes on the national level have prompted some local chapters to separate from the national Alzheimer’s Association, becoming their own independent entities. This may seem like a step that would threaten the quality of local care, but centers that have taken this step report the opposite is true.

The national organization announced plans to consolidate local chapters and governing boards. This would mean one chapter would cover a much wider geographical area, diluting the one-on-one interactions and detailed knowledge of the community. In addition, usually the board of the largest chapter becomes the governing board, and a disproportional amount of resources is shuttled to their original area.

Besides this, chapter boards analyzed the public records of the national Alzheimer’s Association and were disappointed with the trends they saw. From 2005 to 2013, payroll, travel, and rent expenses rose exponentially while monies dedicated to research declined. Payroll increased 143 percent, jumping from $18 million to $145 million. Travel leapt from $1.5 million to $6.9 million, an inexplicable 347 percent rise. Rent rose an astounding 178 percent, from $2.5 million to just under $7 million.

In the midst of all these large increases in allocated funds, research grant monies decreased from $21 million to just over $13 million, a drop of 38 percent.

These changes have convinced some local chapters that autonomy of government and finances is the best way to provide local-focused, high-quality care to those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

If your senior loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading provider of elderly care in Boca Raton, offering comprehensive, flexible care for seniors of all abilities. Our caregivers help with activities of daily living, monitor medication, and provide safety monitoring. To learn more about our care services and how they can benefit your loved one, give us a call at (561) 826.9282 and schedule your complimentary in-home consultation.