Charlie’s Place II to open in Ascension Parish Spring 2017

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

     Charlie’s Place II Respite and Activity Center, the first expansion of the Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area’s nationally recognized Charlie’s Place, is scheduled to open in early April 2017. It will be located on Purpera Road in The Arc of East Ascension’s building in Gonzales. The person-centered respite care program will begin operations two days per week, six hours per day. CP II will offer a purposeful day out for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s affected individuals, as well as provide a much-needed break for their caregivers.

A four-time recipient of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Excellence in Dementia Care Distinction, the original Charlie’s Place, located on North Boulevard in Baton Rouge, has provided socialization and engaging activities to affected individuals, since it opened in 2007. Area physicians at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital are also very supportive, having repeatedly identified respite care as a serious community need.

With the aging of America’s baby boomers, Alzheimer’s and Dementia are on the rise, and scientific research is rapidly expanding across the country. In 2015, Scott Wilks, Ph.D., of the LSU School of Social Work, reported that CP I’s benefits to both affected individuals and their caregivers were markedly discernible. The Caregiver Control Group not received respite support had a 67% higher stress rate than those using CP I’s services. In addition, results also indicated that over 18 months the CP I Care Group showed no significant decline in their cognition and socialization. In other words, high quality, compassionate respite care does make a significant difference.

Charlie’s Place II already has the help and support of many people, organizations and companies, including the Lamar and Dixon Foundation, which have pledged $100,000 of matching funds to inspire other foundations and donors in support of CP II. However, the best endorsements undoubtedly will come from the people CP II will serve.

“Since my mom has been going to Charlie’s Place or her ‘social club,’ she has improved in every area," a caregiver who uses CP I for her mother, enthusiastically said. "She’s so excited to go, even though she cannot tell me much about her experience. I think she feels part of society or the world once again.”

Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area is a local, non-profit organization which provides education and support programs to those affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in ten civil parishes surrounding the Greater Baton Rouge area, including Ascension, Assumption, East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee and St. Helena. Alzheimer’s Services is not affiliated with a national organization, which allow all funds raised to support families in the local community.

For more information about CP I and II programs and fees, please visit www.alzbr.org or call (225) 334-7494.

Contributed Report