Since its beginning in 1984, the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation has worked to improve the health and quality of life for those living in Jackson and West Tennessee. With this initial gift from the Hal and Beth Meredith Endowment of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Fund will begin assisting family caregivers through a respite program.
As families deal with Alzheimer’s, the spouse often ends up being the primary caregiver. With this donation, the Foundation and Senior Services at West Tennessee Healthcare will initiate a respite program that will allow the family member some time away from providing care to take care of personal needs.
We are grateful to St. Luke’s Outreach Committee and The Reverend Gayle McCarty who saw this tremendous need in our community,” stated Regina Smith, Manager of Senior Services at West Tennessee Healthcare and facilitator of the monthly Alzheimer’s Support Group. “This will allow families with few resources and alternatives to have some support,” Smith continued.
“Alzheimer’s affects so very many and the numbers will continue to grow. This respite ministry will provide a needed reprieve and pastoral care for the family members who are caregivers – whose needs are great but are often overlooked,” stated The Reverend Gayle McCarty, St. Luke Episcopal Church Priest-in-Charge. “St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is blessed to provide the seed money for this vital ministry for the community,” Reverend McCarty continued.
“It has been a dream of ours to grow the services that are available for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. We have purposefully shifted resources to support the Foundation and its efforts in assisting those who are suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” stated David Alred, Director of West Tennessee Neuroscience and Spine Center.
“We are extremely grateful that St. Luke’s sees the urgent need to help families living with this disease. Their actions go beyond their walls of worship. The Meredith legacy is continuing to change lives forever through this estate gift they made years ago,” stated Frank McMeen, President of the Foundation. “We are probably most Christ-like when we are giving to help others in need,” McMeen continued.
The Alzheimer’s Respite Program will be managed through Senior Services at West Tennessee Healthcare, enabling the program to provide these services to those that need it most.
To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Respite Program, contact Regina Smith at Regina.Smith@wth.org or call 731-541-8757. To contribute to the fund, checks can be mailed to The Foundation, 620 Skyline Drive, Jackson, TN 38301 or made online at www.wthfoundation.org/give. For more information about the Foundation, email: Frank.McMeen@wth.org or call 731-984-2140.