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Article Archive >> Senior Life

Memory Matters: ROSE: A Caregiver Assistance Program

Memory Matters
ROSE: A Caregiver Assistance Program

People caring for persons with memory loss can find help through the Maryland ROSE Project The Project is an innovative approach to providing services and support to the families, friends, and caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other memory disorders, who live in Washington County, Maryland. The Project strives to facilitate easy access to information, support, education, and training. Caregivers, assisted by a case manager, will be given the tools to develop and maintain supportive networks using public and private resources.
ROSE is an acronym for Respite, Outreach, Services, and Education. This four-pronged approach to caregiver support begins with respite opportunities funded by the Project. Respite is provided to give the caregiver time to develop supportive relationships with friends, neighbors, and family members. Funding for respite care will also allow the caregiver time to participate in educational programs and support groups. Respite care may also be used to provide the caregiver with an opportunity to take care of personal matters.
The ROSE Project is not a short-term fix for a caregiver, but a life-changing approach to care giving. Assisted by a case manager, the caregiver will develop a group of concerned individuals, who will share the care of the person with memory loss, and subsequently improve the quality of life for all involved. In addition, the Project will attempt to develop on-going faith-based respite programs, which the caregiver may in place of ROSE Project respite funding.
The ROSE Project offers a variety of learning opportunities for the caregiver. Caregivers will be instructed on how to care for a person with Alzheimer's disease through class sessions and discussion groups. Caregiver's will learn about Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. Special workshops inform the caregiver about the disease process, what to expect as the disease progresses, and how to handle changing behaviors and personalities. Given the limited amount of time a patient and caregiver have with their doctor, the project offers a program where the caregiver and person with dementia will learn techniques to help them make the most of the limited time they meet with their doctor.
For a caregiver to participate in the ROSE Project, the caregiver must be caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or another memory disorder. The person with memory loss must live in a single family home or congregate setting. The caregiver must agree to participate in all components of the ROSE Project: respite, outreach, support, and education. The person with memory loss must reside in Washington County, Maryland. The Project has no income, asset, or age restrictions.
The ROSE Project is a partnership program of the Alzheimer's Association and Washington County Commission on Aging. The Project is a federally funded program administered through the State Department of Aging. Local program administration is jointly shared by the Alzheimer's Association and the Commission on Aging.
To learn more about the ROSE Project, please plan to attend an informational luncheon on March 30, 2006, 12 noon, at the Four Points Sheraton. Although lunch is free, reservations must be made in advance. Please call either Anna at 301-797-4982 or Ruth at 301-790-0275 to reserve your seat.
If you can not attend the informational luncheon and would like additional information about the ROSE Project or to enroll in the Project, contact Anna or Joyce at the Alzheimer's Association at 301-797-4892 or Linda or Ruth at the Commission on Aging at 301-790-0275.
The Alzheimer's Association's local office is located at 5 Public Square, Suite 307. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 301.797.4892. All office staff are trained to assist visitors and callers with issues dealing with Alzheimer's disease and other related disorders. The staff of the Alzheimer's Association can provide assistance with dementia issues from diagnosis to end of life. /30

Contact: Joyce A. Heptner
Regional Director
Alzheimer's Association
301.696.0315 Frederick
301.797.4892 Hagerstown
Joyce.Heptner@alz.org email

The Alzheimer's Association is a 501 (c) non-profit organization. The Association enhances care and support for people with Alzheimer's disease, their families, and caregivers and encourages support for research. Local office: 5 Public Square, Ste. 307, Hagerstown, MD, 301.797.4892; fax, 301-797-0150; email, Joyce.Heptner@alz.org, www.alzgmd.org.

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