The grant will support operations at the Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program's seven training sites in Arkansas over the next five years. Designed to expand "aging in place" options for the elderly, the program provides education and skills training to family members and paid caregivers, including those who care for people with dementia. According to UAMS, every day some ten thousand baby boomers turn 65, while the number of retirees in the country is expected to double over the next decade.
Launched in 1998 with a $15 million grant from the Schmieding Foundation, the program also works to create a better-prepared workforce in the state and establish a pipeline through which paid caregivers can advance in their careers. Grants of $2.9 million in 2009 and $7.7 million in 2012 from the Reynolds Foundation to the Arkansas Aging Initiative, a program of the UAMS Institute on Aging, helped replicate and expand the Schmieding program. This final grant from the foundation, which is preparing to close its doors by the end of 2017, brings its total support for the program to more than $18.5 million.
"The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation's support has been critically important to the success of the UAMS Schmieding Home Caregiver Program," said Institute on Aging executive director Jeanne Wei. "We are grateful to the foundation for this grant and for their continuing visionary support of all our programs, and thank them for their continued support of the training program."