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Pride Center announces LGBTQ Memory Loss Caregivers Program

May 1, 2017 | In the News

The Pride Center of Western New York announces the LGBTQ Memory Loss Caregivers Program offering support and education for people providing care for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

“The goal of this initiative is to provide a safe space for LGBTQ caregivers and allies for those with dementia,” Caregiver Wellness Coordinator Deanna Bednarz said. “At the Pride Center we understand the unique circumstances that individuals face within the community. Whether you need support, education or a referral plan, our objective is to guide caregivers through a challenging time.”

While adjusting to their role as a caregiver, people may experience isolation, loneliness and a decreased sense of self. LGBTQ caregivers are at a greater risk for this due to unique challenges in accessing services and telling their stories to service providers. The program provides assessment and referral services toward development of a unique plan including linkage to respite providers, home care, caregiver counseling, review of insurance options and fall-prevention training. This summer it will add a caregiver support group.

“It is not easy for many people to ask for help, and this can be more difficult when a person fears that their experience and family may not be respected,” Senior Director Matthew Crehan Higgins said. “This program gives caregivers from our community education about memory loss and assists them in finding affirmative service providers.”

“By partnering with other providers in the dementia field, our new service will also shed light on the unique needs of caregivers in the LGBTQ community,” Bednarz said. “Through the Center’s field education program we have been able to offer care partners the guidance and support they need to help them better understand our community.”

The program is funded by the New York State Department of Health Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative for Underserved Communities.

The Pride Center of Western New York, Inc. (PWNY) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with the community to make Western New York a safe, healthy and satisfying place for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people to live, work and establish their families. For more information, please visit www.pridecenterwny.org or call 852-7743.

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