The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded a $5,000 grant to WISE & Healthy Aging of Santa Monica, for scholarships that will help enable new clients to attend its adult day services center.

The award is one of 11 grants that AFA, a national nonprofit organization, presented to grassroots organizations as part of its biannual grant process to help agencies develop or enhance programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

WISE & Healthy Aging provides services for older adults in Los Angeles County, including a skilled day program that offers a variety of recreational activities for the frail elderly and individuals in the early to severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Santa Monica organization plans to give the scholarships to low-income “sandwich generation” caregivers who are caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease while also caring for young children. The monies will enable the underserved individuals to attend the service center two days per week throughout the year at no cost, according to WISE.

Frankie Aggers, the center’s program director, said the grant comes at a particularly critical time since the state recently slashed funding for Alzheimer’s day resource centers like WISE & Healthy Aging,

“These clients would not be able to attend without funding from other sources,” she said.

Eric J. Hall, AFA’s president and chief executive officer, commended WISE & Healthy Aging for “taking the initiative to address the enormous financial toll of Alzheimer’s disease on families.

“Programs like this provide stimulation and socialization to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and much-needed respite to family members. They are an essential ingredient in improving qualify of life,” Hall said.

AFA awards grants twice a year, in the spring and fall, to its nonprofit member organizations to develop or enhance programs and services that improve quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and their families.

Information on AFA, (866) AFA-8484 or www.alzfdn.org/.

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