Delaware Adopts Rosalynn Carter Institute’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Program

Americus, GA – The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) is pleased to announce a multi-year agreement with the state of Delaware to bring the Resources Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) program to caregivers in the state. Through the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Disabilities (DSAAPD), the RCI-REACH program will offer caregivers support and training to help manage the stress that comes with being a caregiver to 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, Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute. “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.

“DSAAPD is committed to serving caregivers throughout the state,” said Dava Newnam, Division Director of DSAAPD. “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 persons aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease in the state is expected to grow by 35 percent. These numbers touch so many in the state as they represent family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, clients, and customers.

As the disease progresses, so do the demands on caregivers. In turn, caregivers need greater support. In response to this growing need for resources and supports for families across the state, the DSAAPD, a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), has been working for the past several years to expand services and supports 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 (CRC’s). If a caregiver cannot go in person to these trainings, RCI-REACH can provide much-needed education and support virtually to an already taxed caregiver. In addition, Delaware’s RCI-REACH coaches are trained community nurses who will be able to help the caregiver navigate the complicated landscape of dementia services.

Contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1-800-223-9074 to learn more.

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