Wednesday was Alzheimer’s Day at the Statehouse. The Alzheimer’s Association reminded state lawmakers about their efforts to support the 80,000 South Carolinians and their families affected by the disease.
Lt. Governor Andre Bauer met with individuals who had been helped by a respite care program funded in part through the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging. The program gives those who care for loved ones a break, a little time off so that they can take care of other things.
Beth Sulkowski is Communications Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, South Carolina Chapter. She says the grant from the Department of Mental Health amounts to $1 million, about $500 per person.
(Sulkowski on respite care MP3 1:53)
Sulkowski on respite care MP3 1:53
Part of respite funding includes $150,000 in annual recurring state funds that are currently allocated for the Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center under the Office on Aging. Last year the Office on Aging received a grant from the Administration on Aging for more than $741,000 which will eventually expand the program to all ten regions of South Carolina.
Lt. Governor Andre Bauer talked with some recipients of respite care, and mentioned how he had lost his own grandmother to Alzheimer’s last year. “I’ve dealt with this issue, and know a lot of friends and family members who have tried to keep loved ones in their home,” he said. “And it saves taxpayers a lot of money if they try to keep them in their home. There are about 160,000 respite care givers in South Carolina, people who have to miss work, have to make sacrifices. And anything we can do will save taxpayers millions of dollars.”