In the late 1970s and 1980s, a number of local caregiver support groups sprang up as a result of partnerships between family caregivers and human service professionals. Several of these grassroots organizations later applied to become affiliates of the national Alzheimer’s Association.
A group in Westchester was first, joining the national organization in late 1980, the year it was founded, and opening an office at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains in December 1981. In 1997, the chapter took on responsibility for serving Putnam County, where a small chapter had previously existed; a point of service was opened in space donated by United Cerebral Palsy in 2001.
A chapter in Rockland County was founded when one of the members of the county’s first
Alzheimer’s support groups suggested getting connected to the National Alzheimer’s Association. The Rockland County chapter was approved in 1984.
The Mid-Hudson Chapter, serving Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties, was founded in 1986 when the facilitator of an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group at the Dutchess County Office for the Aging urged the group to affiliate with the National Alzheimer’s Association. The chapter set up an office in a room donated by the Office for the Aging in 1991.
The Sullivan Chapter also resulted from the joint efforts of family caregivers and professionals. A member of a support group held at Catskill Regional Medical Center worked with the support group leader and other family caregivers to form a Sullivan County Alzheimer’s Committee — and, in 1992, a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
An office in Monticello served families from 1996 to 1999, when the group joined forces with the Mid-Hudson Chapter and opened a larger office in Middletown to serve families in both Sullivan and Orange.
The Rockland and Mid-Hudson Chapters subsequently voted to merge in 2000, and the Mid-Hudson and Westchester/Putnam Chapters followed suit, leading to the creation of the Hudson Valley Chapter in 2002. The chapter boards decided to realign because they believed a single chapter would enable them to provide more and better patient and family services, to reach more families in their local areas and raise more revenue to support their mission.
Today, the Hudson Valley Chapter is an organization supporting thousands of families throughout Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. This growth has brought vastly enhanced programs and services for the 40,000 individuals in our seven counties who have Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder, their families and health care professionals.