A community wide effort to meet a $60,000 shortfall in the Pulaski County Alzheimer's Disease Respite Center's current fiscal year budget has reached $22,784, an amount for which Executive Director Pat Brinson is thankful. However, she says there is a "challenge to see where we are in the spring ... the impact of financial reductions on our budget."
"There is a drastic need for this center to remain open," Brinson remarked. "We give families with Alzheimer's patients a time of rest ... or enable family members to remain in the workforce."
"We are so humble ... so thankful for the community's support," Brinson said. "I've been here four years and I have never seen community support such as it is now."
Brinson said no governmental or social agency has completely cut off assistance, but have been forced to reduce financial support.
Brinson said the center's three main sources of funds are from the city, county and United Way. She noted a reduction in financial assistance from United Way and " ... the city and county are still working (on the amounts of assistance)," said Brinson. She expects less money from the local governments.
Sherry Schultz, executive director, United Way of South Central Kentucky, said United Way's allocation to an agency is on a year-to-year basis, depending on " ... the amount we raise. There are no cuts or promises ... allocations to agencies depend on the amount of money we raise," Schultz reiterated.
During the 2017-18 campaign, United Way raised $138,354 and Alzheimer's Center's allocation was $33,725. During the 2018-19 campaign, United Way raised $76,970 and the Alzheimer's Center's allocation was $17,617. Schultz said Alzheimer's Center is among the top three United Way allocations.
The county has been able to support the local Alzheimer's Center with coal severance funds secured by State Representative Tommy Turner. However, those funds have dropped from $58,000 in 2017-18 to $47,000 during the current fiscal year. The county's share of local government economic development funds has dropped to $27,000 for 2019-20, and Pulaski County Treasurer Joan Isaacs said the state has informed her the allocation is expected to drop to $19,500 in 2020-21 The Alzheimer's Center's budget for the current fiscal year is $121,000.
To save the Alzheimer's Center and its services, Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley and Somerset Mayor Alan Keck asked each of Pulaski County's more than 64,000 residents to donate $1, or 6,000 citizen give $10, to make up for severe reductions in money from various sources that fund operations of the center.
The local Alzheimer's center serves 15 clients a day. The center currently has 18 clients but some do not come to the center every day. There are 18 families needing the services on a waiting list.
Brinson said there are programs all throughout the day to keep the center's clients engaged. They participate in daily planned activities and move through a daily schedule that seeks to keep them engaged, alert and improve their quality of life.