In the Big Bend alone, there are over 4,000 families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's Project, Inc. was founded over twenty years ago as an outreach program by the leadership at Saint Paul's United Methodist Church. This organization strives to provide free comfort, support, counseling and assistance to persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers.
“We’ve been blessed by the participation and generosity of the faith communities in support of Alzheimer’s Project, Inc.,” said Bill Wertman, CEO of the local non-profit organization. “We could not provide all the services we do without the kindness and compassion they have for this community. Crossing religious and denominational lines, many great houses of faith have come together to serve our community of caregivers.”
The Importance of Faith organizations
Because Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. is funded by grants, all different types of donations –from paper supplies to volunteer hours- help support families in need. Alzheimer’s Project, Inc.’s work would be impossible without the generous contributions of time, money, space and volunteers made by our local faith organizations and their congregations. Many of the faith organizations offer free space, trained volunteers, lunch for weekly support groups and day-respite care as well as a long list of other offered completely free of charge.
The Faith organizations that donate their space, time and volunteers are what make the respite programs possible. Faith organizations that host the day-respite care programs have the space, kitchen access, handicap access and a strong commitment to making a difference. This popular and helpful service would not be possible without the help of faith organizations. Some of our community partners include Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church, Killearn United Methodist Church, Temple Israel, Lake Ellen Baptist Church of Medart, Fl, Thomas Memorial Baptist Church of Quincy, Fl, First Baptist Church of Woodville, Fl and Monticello United Methodist Church of Monticello, Fl.
Clarke Campbell-Evans, Senior Pastor at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church says, “We are delighted that our sister and brother congregations across faith communities are joining this effort to surround these families with tangible love and care. “
This program provides respite to the caregivers of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or any memory impairment, free of charge. Respite is designed to keep caregivers healthier, both physically and emotionally in an effort to make the journey of caring for a loved one with a memory disorder a little easier. Campbell-Evans goes on to say that “The mission of this Project is to provide critical services to those families in need, to help them take a break (through the respite program), become informed (through caregiver support groups, training and seminars), and find community with others facing this devastating disease.”
A caregiver can bring their loved one to an on-site Day-Respite Program at one of the participating generous faith organizations or they can arrange to have in-home respite service provided by a FDLE screened and thoroughly trained volunteer. Once the caregiver brings their loved one to the site, they can take up to 6 hours to themselves; they can go grocery shopping, get a haircut, or take a much needed nap. During this time, Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. provides progressive engagement through group activities and socialization to keep loved ones active throughout the day. Respite is available every week thanks to many generous faith organizations around the Big Bend area that have volunteered their space and time.
How you can help
In the past, faith organizations have contacted Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. because they were looking for opportunities to provide community outreach to members of their respective congregations. If you are a member or leader of a big-bend faith organization and would like to become involved with Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. please visit www.alzheimersproject.org or call (850) 386-2778 for more information. You can also “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Alzheimers-Project-Inc/ or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlzProject.