East Central Florida Respite Program Delivers Care at Home Using Faith-Based Volunteers

Space Coast Interfaith Coalition developed an in-home respite program for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease in East Central Florida.

Respite services were originally part of a local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Staff recruited 32 congregations representing 14 faiths to be part of the project. Many of the volunteers came from those congregations.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program, Faith in Action®, Generation 2 and Generation 3.

The project director produced inserts for Sunday bulletins that were tied to events such as Older Americans Month, and the International Year of Older people. These were used as an entry to suggest that pastors and their congregations re-examine how they served their elderly members.

About mid-way through the grant, the project formed an independent organization called the Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation. It has become self-sufficient through concerted fund raising.

Key Results

  • The project recruited 77 volunteers who served 184 families.

  • The project became self-sufficient through concerted fund raising.

  • The project has opened three other adult day care centers in addition to the one provided initially by the Alzheimer's Association Chapter.