The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a national non-profit organization that unites more than 2,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals living with dementia and their families, has awarded a $5,000 Phyllis and Milton Berg Respite Care Grant to WISE & Healthy Aging, a non-profit organization in Santa Monica, Calif. The grant is named for the deceased parents of Barry Berg, the AFA board’s treasurer. Both of Berg’s parents passed away in 2009. His mother, Phyllis, had Alzheimer’s disease, and his father, Milton, was a devoted caregiver. The grants are awarded to AFA member organizations that provide respite services, such as adult day programs or in-home aides, to help give family caregivers a much-needed break.

Grace Cheng Braun, president and CEO for WISE & Healthy Aging, said “We are grateful to be recognized by the AFA with this grant which will help us serve those in our community of very limited financial means in accessing much needed adult day care programming.”

WISE & Healthy Aging is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the independence, dignity, and quality of life of older adults. They have an on-site adult day care program that is the only state-designated Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Center on the Los Angeles Westside. In addition to caregiver support and nationally-recognized evidence-based caregiver training for family and working caregivers, the community-based social services organization is a one-stop trusted source for the community with financial and legal clinics, mental health services, a peer counseling program, homecare, care management and other services for seniors and their families. They provide one of the only safe settings in the area where people with moderate to severe stages of dementia can be served in a community-based setting. Their Somos Amigos (We are Friends) program meets the demand for Spanish-language adult day care programming. It provides much-needed respite for caregivers. The program also designs activities to help clients remain active and connected to the larger community. More information on the programming at WISE & Healthy Aging can be found at and by calling (310) 394-9871.

“WISE & Healthy Aging plays a vital role in helping families get the care and services they need,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s president and chief executive officer. “Studies have shown that respite care, which provides a break for the caregiver but also engagement for the individual living with the illness, can aid in maintaining caregiver health and delay costly nursing home placement. We are proud to award them this grant to further their efforts in helping their community.”

AFA is able to provide vital services, like this grant, as a result of the generosity of individual contributions, sponsorships and fundraising activities. To help support these initiatives, visit For more information about AFA membership and grant opportunities, visit

  • Sandy Silverstein with the Alzheimer’s Foundation