Thursday, April 03, 2008

MetLife Foundation Awards $815,000 to Alzheimer's Association

CHICAGO — Recognizing the escalating number of Alzheimer's cases in the U.S., MetLife Foundation has awarded two grants to the Alzheimer's Association, totaling $815,000, to support educational outreach to the Hispanic community and training for emergency responders who encounter those with Alzheimer's and dementia in their work. MetLife Foundation is a longtime funder of research, advocacy and programming around Alzheimer's disease and has been providing grant support to the Alzheimer's Association for more than two decades.

The Hispanic outreach grant of $400,000 will continue to fund efforts previously supported by MetLife Foundation. The grant will fund an extensive media and outreach campaign to the Hispanic population that will include radio and Internet messaging. Further, it will include the introduction of a Family Caregiver Resource Kit using existing and new Spanish-language educational materials that raise awareness about the disease. The general public will be able to order the kit online and by phone through a toll-free, bilingual line.

Research suggests that Hispanics are at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease along with other health problems now linked to Alzheimer's, including diabetes, heart and vascular disease. With the Hispanic population growing at a 3.4 percent rate, the highest rate of any minority group, the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in this population is projected to increase by 600 percent by 2050.

MetLife Foundation's award of $415,000 for the Emergency Responders Outreach Initiative will support the development of a national training program for emergency responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and others. Funds will be used by the Alzheimer's Association to update and enhance existing training resources, including a DVD, a program curriculum, tip cards and other materials for first responders. The Alzheimer's Association and its network of 77 chapters use these items to train emergency personnel on Alzheimer's issues, such as how to communicate with someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia, and on caregiver stress and safety issues. The information focuses on specific safety areas like wandering, impaired driving, gun safety, shoplifting, abuse and neglect, and disaster preparedness. The tools will also incorporate a primer on the MedicAlert and Alzheimer's Association Safe Return programs.

"We hope to make the challenging job of being an emergency responder a bit easier," said Julie Sipchen, associate director, Safety Services for the Alzheimer's Association. "These tools will strengthen the partnership between our chapters and those in the community who are working to keep people safe and supported."

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer's.

MetLife Foundation
has supported Alzheimer's disease research and outreach activities for more than 20 years. MetLife Foundation has awarded over $11 million in grants through its Awards for Medical Research in Alzheimer's disease program. It also has a long history of providing support to the Alzheimer's Association in its mission to advance research, public awareness and diversity outreach, as well as enhancing care and support, through initiatives that include caregiving videos, resources for the Hispanic community, and Safe Return.

The Alzheimer's Association is the best resource for the public when it comes to up-to-date information and the latest research news. The organization's important initiatives benefit communities across the United States, and MetLife's donation ensures needed resources help the group continue its efforts.

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