In this paper we explore technological ad-vances that can improve the future for the agingmembers of our society. To design practical andconstructive solutions to the problems of theelderly, it is essential to understand their priorities and their needs.The most prevalent, the most feared andthe most devastating illness of senior citizens isdementia. It affects 10% of the population over 85. Moreover, it impacts on the lives of their family members and care-givers, reachingseveral generations in the household. Alzheimer's disease is the most commoncause of dementia, accounting for about 66% of all cases. This illness lasts for long periods of time; many patients continue to be cared for bytheir loved ones for an average of eight years.Despite the burden, two-thirds of them willremain at home. Devoted care-givers providesole and complete support of the patient in 75%of the cases. Overall, an estimated 40 billiondollars is spent nationally each year caring for people with Alzheimer's disease at home and innursing homes.Throughout the country, programs are beingdeveloped to respond to the demands of care-givers and to the needs of Alzheimer victims. In1987, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundationissued a request for a proposal on "DementiaCare and Respite Services." Nineteen projectswere funded. The Parker Jewish GeriatricInstitute was the recipient of one of thosegrants. Initially, the Institute, a 527-bed SkilledNursing Facility located in New Hyde Park, NewYork, developed an active outpatient geriatricprogram with Adult Day Care. However, itbecame clear that Alzheimer patients and their families had different needs: they requiredindividualized, soothing, non-threatening activi-ties in a safe and wander-proof environmentwhich the existing programs could not provide.
An Innovative Solution:The Alzheimer Respite Center at the Parker Jewish Geriatric Institute
Rose Marie Borg
Parker Jewish Geriatric InstituteNew Hyde Park, NY USA
Parker Jewish Geriatric InstituteNew Hyde Park, NY USAWillard, NY, USA
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Global Therapeutic Recreation I
Selected papers from the 1
International Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation
© Curators University of Missouri 1990