Mind, Body & Spirit | National

Health care organization linked to Boston’s Jewish community gets $53 million to study dementia

BOSTON (JTA) —  A health care organization with historic ties to the city’s Jewish community and an Ivy League university have been awarded a $53.4 million grant by the National Institute on Aging, one of the largest federal awards ever to study dementia.

Hebrew Senior Life, an affiliate of Harvard University Medical School, will partner with Brown University on the five-year nationwide initiative to improve health care and quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, as well as their caregivers, according to a joint statement from HSL and Brown University.

The institutions, widely recognized as innovators in the field of elder care and research, will lead what they call a “collaboratory” of researchers from more than 30 universities and hospitals across the country. They will run up to 40 pilot programs that will develop best practices for people with dementia, and for families and caregivers.

“It’s time for Alzheimer’s and other dementias to receive the same level of research focus and investment as cancer,” said Louis Woolf, HSL president and CEO.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, with the number expected to double by 2050, according to the statement.

Hebrew Senior Life, a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization that includes a variety of senior residences and facilities across Greater Boston, was founded in 1903 in response to the needs of the Jewish community facing anti-Semitism, according to its website.