Sentara Community Benefits Report February 2011 | Sentara Healthcare
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Giving Back: Sentara Community Benefits Report February 2011 

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Sentara-Supported Alzheimer’s Call Center Featured in Community Benefits Report Gives Exhausted Caregivers Advice, Support


 A Sentara Health Foundation grant helps support a helpline operated by the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Virginia.

NORFOLK, VA (January 25, 2011) –
Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease can drain adult children and leave them pondering what other possibilities might be available to help their aging parent.

The Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Virginia is one place to turn. Its helpline fields calls from overwhelmed caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering them support and hope at no cost.

"A call came in from a man who was caring for both his parents," says Family Program Manager Carol Gurioli. "He was at a crisis point in his job and had to work, and he also needed help with his parents. By the end of the call, the hysteria in his voice was gone."

The agency, highlighted in the February 2011 Sentara Community Benefits report, provides a wealth of services, including education; professional training; support groups; MedicAlert™+Safe Return™ bracelets; ComfortZone,™ a web-based tracking system; and respite care subsidy assistance.

Staff also connect callers to other community services. In 2010 the helpline responded to 836 requests for support.

A Sentara Health Foundation grant of $12,500, combined with other community support, helped begin the free service by funding information materials, printing and the salary of the community outreach coordinator.

The local helpline is staffed by two full-time employees and one half-time employee, and the chapter aims to recruit volunteers to assist with taking calls. The national association’s contact center takes calls after business hours.

"This is creating community among people dealing with the same kinds of issues so they don’t feel alone," says Executive Director Gino Colombara.

This story and others are available in the February 2011 Sentara Community Benefits report.  The report highlights Sentara Healthcare's activities with the various non-profit organizations it supports in the Hampton Roads area to fulfill its mission of improving health every day.

Read more details about Sentara's dedication to the Hampton Roads community  through various programs and financial contributions. Also view past versions of Community Benefits reports.

Related Links:
About Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Virginia
MedicAlert™+Safe Return™ bracelets
Sentara Community Benefits
Sentara’s Commitment to the Community
Sentara Home Care Services
Senior Services at Sentara

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