Located in Port Washington, LIAF was founded in 1988 in the typical grassroots fashion by five Long Island women.
Each of these women had a parent or grandparent with Alzheimer’s disease and shared the frustration of not knowing where to turn for much-needed help. Now, for the past 25 years, LIAF has been providing supportive community-based services to Alzheimer’s families on Long Island. LIAF takes considerable pride in its pioneering role in the development of cutting edge services that foster the independence, dignity, well-being and safety of individuals with Alzheimer’s, thus aiding in the prevention of premature nursing home placement. LIAF’s programs through the Memory Fitness Center offer help and hope for families grappling with Alzheimer’s disease.
LIAF's services initially included an information-line, production of the area's first comprehensive resource directory and a social-model adult day services program. Since then, LIAF's services have mushroomed and our programs are being replicated by other groups to benefit those impacted by Alzheimer's disease. LIAF helps Alzheimer's clients and families cope with the mental health issues such as depression, isolation, grief and sleep disorders that are commonly experienced by Alzheimer’s families. Social workers help caregivers – typically an elderly spouse – to develop a support network and coping skills, maintain a positive mental attitude and ensure that they remember to take care of their own health needs as well. Caregivers are frequently so consumed with the care needs of the individual with Alzheimer's that they neglect their own health needs. LIAF’s programs for individuals with Alzheimer's disease provide them with the support needed to maintain their independence and well-being in the community for as long as possible and avoid costly, nursing home placement.
The growing need for programs, such as those offered by LIAF's Memory Fitness Center, is evidenced by the following facts:
- Alzheimer’s disease (frequently referred to as the ‘hidden epidemic’) is the sixth leading cause of death across all ages in the United States.
- Every 68 seconds someone in the United States is stricken with Alzheimer’s disease.
- This disease strikes one out of every eight Americans 65 years of age or older (growing to nearly 50% of the population 85 years and older).
- Alzheimer’s disease afflicts some 5.4 million Americans, including more than 50,000 in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Its prevalence is expected to reach 7.7 million by 2030 and 16 million by 2050.
- Nearly 7 out of every 10 individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the United States reside in the community with their families, not in institutions. Eighty percent of all care provided to Alzheimer’s individuals is tendered by family and friends.