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Community could help Family Alliance earn $350K grant

Voting begins Monday in contest

WOODSTOCK – Family Alliance is one of three finalists to win a $350,000 grant administrators said would help address a more subtle sadness of dementia.

The money from health and well-being company Humana would help Family Alliance expand its coming full-time program for caregivers of adult patients.

Area residents can help decide whether Family Alliance receives the funding through the Humana Communities Benefit charitable giving program. For the first time this year, 20 percent of the final selection will be based on a community vote.

Residents can vote at humanahcbvote.com from Monday through Aug. 22.

“Everybody has to vote,” Family Alliance Executive Director Kim Larson said. “We’re getting information out about how to vote. We’ve got cards sent out. We’ll be doing an email blast.”

The caregiver center “Connections for Those Who Care” will be based at Family Alliance’s new 8,000-square-foot facility in Huntley, which is set to open in September, Larson said.

Native to Woodstock, Family Alliance is a care center that serves adults suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The center has added caregiver support groups in recent years – an area it wants to continue to expand.

“We know we have the expertise to provide that,” Larson said. “But we just don’t have the funding.”

About 15 percent of McHenry County adults are caregivers, Larson said. Providing constant attention to others can de-emphasize self in a way that can lead to depression and even physical illness, she said.

“When we do our caregiver surveys and we get some of the quotes back about the depression and anxiety that they feel about caring for their loved one, we realize that that’s a gap in services we aren’t meeting,” Larson said.

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