Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards nearly $150,000 to Alzheimer's and dementia awareness and support groups

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Health & Hunger, EMPOWERMENT AND SUCCESS: Literacy Support, Community Impact Grants, Mental Health,

Four local nonprofit organizations have received funding for brain research and support programs

In recognition of June as International Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has awarded $150,000 to four nonprofits in the region supporting care, awareness and research of cognitive diseases.

Dementia is a brain syndrome marked by cognitive decline that interferes with daily activity, which is currently the seventh leading cause of death, with cases rapidly on the rise due to a large aging population. While other diseases can result in dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for roughly 70 percent of all dementia cases.

Many experts caution that finding ways to end or mitigate syndromes of brain and memory decline is urgent, as the cost of these disorders, in medical care, wraparound support, and loss of productivity owed to informal care of patients by family, is significant.

Community Foundation grants provide relief in a range of areas, from supporting research efforts to providing services for dementia patients who need it. Here’s how funds were allocated:

  • The Roskamp Institute, a research organization focused on discovering diagnostics and treatments for neurological disorders, was awarded a grant to conduct additional research on Alzheimer’s through a campus expansion and remodel.
  • The Pines of Sarasota Foundation received a grant to support The Hammocks: Memory Care at Pines of Sarasota, a not-for-profit senior care facility serving residents regardless of their financial situation.
  • Early detection can mitigate the toll of Alzheimer’s, and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients remain much stronger and healthier if properly supported. The Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders Association, a national organization, received funding toward awareness and support programs impacting Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.
  • The Senior Friendship Centers received funding support for The Living Room, an adult day services program that provides stimulation and social interaction for Alzheimer's patients while also providing respite for their caregivers.

“Alzheimer’s is tragic because it really does impact entire families. Family members feel that they’ve lost a loved one from the moment of diagnosis,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “The enormous burdens, coupled with the rapid growth of Alzheimer’s diagnoses worldwide, means we have to be proactive in supporting research that can lead to eradicating the disease and the development of systems to help those currently touched by it.”

Throughout the year, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County works with charitable donors to provide opportunities for local nonprofit organizations to apply for several competitive grants to enhance their strategic goals and impactful missions. Gifts are granted to causes connected to a donor’s passion or concern, such as animals and the environment, arts and culture, education, and health and human services. As of 2023, more than $396 million in grants has been distributed throughout the community.