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Alzheimer’s Association Awarded $25 Million Grant to Enhance Respite Care for Dementia Caregivers

Administration for Community Living (ACL) grant will support respite service providers across the country to ensure services are dementia-capable, provide person-centered care

The Alzheimer’s Association was recently awarded $25 million over five years by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to make respite services and service providers more dementia-capable and provide the best person-centered care possible.

The five-year grant will establish a new Center for Dementia Respite Innovation (CDRI) led by Sam Fazio, Ph.D., senior director, psychosocial research & quality care, Alzheimer’s Association. Fazio will work closely with Joseph Gaugler, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota and USAging. 

“This grant provides an exciting opportunity to improve the quality and availability of respite care for more than 11 million Americans who are dementia caregivers,” Fazio said. “Providing dementia caregivers access to respite care can support and strengthen their ability to be good caregivers, while ensuring the person living with dementia is well cared for in a safe environment. The Alzheimer’s Association deeply appreciates the trust and confidence the Administration for Community Living has placed in us to lead this important work.” 

Respite care provides caregivers a temporary rest from caregiving, while the person living with Alzheimer's continues to receive care in a safe environment. Respite care can be provided at home — by a friend, other family member, volunteer or paid service — or in a care setting, such as adult day care or long-term care community.

Beginning in June 2024, the CDRI will provide a maximum of 20 grants totaling $4 million annually for the next five years to respite providers. The CDRI will also provide online training and ongoing technical assistance to ensure that respite services are dementia-capable, especially in diverse and underserved communities. An important area of emphasis will be developing, testing and replicating new and innovative approaches to deliver dementia-specific respite services. A key outcome of the grant program is the development of a catalog of programs and resources aimed at improving the quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Grant applicants will self-identify their key quality development and improvement goals as it relates to dementia care. That can include initiatives such as staff training, evidence-based intervention adoption, partnership development with a local healthcare or other community-based system, integration with faith-based organizations, expanded locations, flexible hours, and other areas of improvement. 

According to the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers (PDF), gaps in the availability of and access to respite can be significant, adding to the stress and burden of unpaid caregivers. Respite care is often costly, and with limited availability in many communities, caregivers are frequently left with responsibility for the bulk of the expenses. This grant and the sub-grants it will generate will result in the development and piloting of cost-efficient, effective, strengths-based, person-centered, innovative models of dementia-specific respite care. 

Requests for applications will begin in March 2024 and applications are due May 2024. Specific information on the application process will be available in early 2024. For more information, visit

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