Northfield Retirement Community Awarded $10,000 Grant from ELCA Foundation

NORTHFIELD, MINN. (December 11, 2013) – The Northfield Retirement Community Foundation announced today that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from The Lutheran Services for the Elderly Endowment at the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Foundation. The grant will fund the next phase of Meeting the Need – Launching and Mentoring Unexpected Caregiver Support Groups, a program that addresses the need among family caregivers for accessible and appropriate family support groups.
Kyle Nordine, President and CEO of Northfield Retirement Community, said, “We are excited and thankful for this significant grant from the ELCA Foundation that will fund our Meeting the Need program. Caregivers and family members caring for loved ones in the later stages of life face numerous challenges and are under tremendous stress. This program will provide a resource for those individuals serving in a caregiving role.”

The Meeting the Need program is designed and administered by Kari Berit, noted caregiving expert and author of “The Unexpected Caregiver.” Its goal is to help solve a growing problem for family caregivers – the need for support as they face the emotionally overwhelming and oftentimes unexpected challenge of caring for a loved one. It is a peer-to-peer group model designed for family caregivers to help the caregivers care for themselves and their family members.

Groups offer participants the opportunity to share with other caregivers and glean support from them. Caregivers share group leadership aided by facilitator guides and materials on caregiving and self-care. Ongoing online communication with Berit is invaluable in troubleshooting individual situations and addressing group dynamics.

Family caregivers provide the majority of long-term care in the United States. In Minnesota there are more than 600,000 family caregivers who account for $7.1 billion of assistance to the elderly. Family caregivers’ work represents 92 percent of the long-term care provided to Minnesota older adults. Every 1 percent decline in their efforts costs the public sector $30 million, according to the Minnesota Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “Family caregivers juggle daily tasks while coping with intense emotions, often feeling alone,” noted Berit. “When the caregiver doesn’t understand aging, lives in fear of Alzheimer’s disease, or doesn’t know how to maneuver the health care system, the caregiver becomes the one needing care.”

Lutheran Services for the Elderly Endowment awards funds to ministries that demonstrate plans for service, education and research to benefit the elderly and their families. Grants fund programs that offer innovative and replicable programs for the elderly.

Northfield Retirement Community has a 40-year history of providing quality housing and services specifically designed to meet the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of older adults. The organization operates or manages multiple senior living facilities. Providing a range of services – from round-the-clock care to minimal home care assistance – the housing options available focus on giving adults, age 55 or older, the assistance they need to lead healthy, meaningful lives.

For more information about the program or the grant, contact Ingrid Anderson Sampo, Vice President for Fund Development at Northfield Retirement Community Foundation, at 507-664-3471.