In 1983, a Baton Rouge neurologist and his nurse who cared for Alzheimer’s patients hosted an informational meeting for caregivers and patients. They planned for only 30 people to come to the meeting, but were shocked when they stepped out to speak in front of a packed house of over a 100 people in a standing room only crowd. It was apparent – there was a serious need in Baton Rouge for guidance with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Fast-forward thirty-plus years later and that informal support group has evolved into Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, the only non-profit organization providing support and education to 10 parishes in South Louisiana and the approximately 20,000 people with the disease.

Today Alzheimer’s Services serves the community through education and training programs on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; support services for the memory-impaired, as well as physicians and caregivers; a Resource Library; telephone HelpLine; raising community awareness of the disease; social activities for families and patients; and Charlie’s Place Respite Centers in Baton Rouge and Gonzales.

Our History

Nurse (Mona Romaine) and local neurologist (Dr. Steve Cavalier) formed an informal support group for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Became an affiliate of the National Alzheimer’s Association.
Formed The Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Served nine parishes and provided three support groups, answered 160 HelpLine calls, and distributed a newsletter to 300 individuals.
Held first Annual Education Conference.
Held the first Memory Walk, with 75 walkers raising $14,067.
Obtained first official office location at 2142 Quail Run Drive. Hired first executive director.
Held first annual fund campaign and first volunteer appreciation reception.
The Greater Baton Rouge Chapter merged with the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center in Lafayette, changed its name to the South/West Louisiana Chapter, and opened a branch office in Lafayette, serving 22 parishes. Increased staff to add a Program Coordinator, an Office Manager and a Branch Office Manager.
Held first “Meet the Experts” panel discussion program with an audience of 185. Held first Memory Ride & Poker Run for Alzheimer’s with 185 bikers raising $17,000.
Answered over 2,500 HelpLine calls. Trained 85 law enforcement officers on how to recognize and respond to Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Increased staff to add an Outreach Coordinator. Added a timed run to “A Walk to Remember”, changing the name to “A Walk/Run To Remember.” Held first annual Memories in the Making Luncheon; multi-year giving society launched with 29 founding Rosemary Society members.
Moved to new location on North Boulevard. Launched Caregiver Respite Program with grant from Woman’s Hospital. A Walk/Run To Remember attracted 5,000 participants.
Increased staff to add a Development Director and Assistant to Executive Director. Offered Lunch-N-Learn sessions on site in new meeting room, furnished by the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation.Received three-year grant from Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs for the Caregiver Respite Program. Held first annual Open House in November featuring new office space.
Increased staff to add a part-time Resource Coordinator and Event Coordinator.Offered Sharing the Journey classes. Expanded Resource Library to contain over 1,000 holdings. Increased Lunch-N-Learn seminars to three per month.
Staff consisted of 4 full-time and 4 part-time employees. Lunch-N-Learn seminars increase to four times per month. Distributed a quarterly newsletter to over 6,500 individuals. Formed a partnership with the Junior League of Baton Rouge, creating “TLC for Caregivers” socials, offering families an opportunity to relax and have fun. Adopted the slogan “Helping you cope. Providing you hope.” Reached out to over 7,000 at community health fairs and presentations. Received grants to initiate funding of the Alzheimer’s Services Respite Center “Charlie’s Place.”
Distributed a quarterly newsletter to over 8,500 individuals. Completed building renovation; included an expanded conference room with seating for 75. Approximately 200 medical professionals and caregivers attended the 14th Annual Education Conference on Memory & Communication Strategies for Persons with Dementia. Hosted the first Maximize Your Memory workshop on promoting healthy memory and aging. Opened Charlie’s Place Respite Center, operated two days a week. Staff consisted of 5 full-time and 5 part-time employees. Published Family Resource Guide and distributed 1,000 copies to area physicians offices for families with an Alzheimer’s diagnoses.
Charlie’s Place named National Adult Day Center of the Year by National Adult Day Services Association. Walk/Run to Remember attracted over 8,000. Barbara Auten replaced Beth Veazey as Executive Director. Charlie’s Place awarded the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction, first awarded in Louisiana.
Charlie’s Place expanded from 3 days to 5 days per week and increased staff and volunteers. Entire staff certified as Qualified Dementia Care Providers. Lunch-N-Learn program received the Family Road of Baton Rouge Solaris Award for an Outstanding Outreach Program. Received the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations’ Standards for Excellence Seal for the second time. Formed an alliance with the LSU Life Course on Aging faculty to develop a currriculum for the state-required Dementia Care Training.
Opened a satellite office in Ascension Parish. Sharing the Journey: Resources 101 class offered in Ascension Parish saw its largest registration to date. Became the first organization in Louisiana to certify a Dementia Care Training curriculum. The National Alzheimer’s Project Act is passed to create a national plan to overcome the Alzheimer’s crisis. Director of Services, Dana Territo, named to the National Adult Day Services Association board of directors. Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention began enrollment for a new study for Mild-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Developed the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Manual for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care. Volunteer Anne Maddox received the WAFB “Hand it On” Award. Volunteer Lucinda Warren received the WAFB “Power of 9” Award. Social Security Administration ruled that individuals with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease may qualify for Social Security benefits.
Launched Memory Café, a program for socialization, education and fellowship among individuals with early/younger onset Alzheimer’s. Longtime volunteer, former Board Member, and ambassador, Damian Calato, received Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s National Community Service Award. The Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation funded the player piano for Charlie’s Place. “The Faces of Alzheimer’s” photo exhibit debuted at the Shaw Center for the Arts. Pennington Foundation funded a Best Practice Respite Center Model. Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Brodsky Grant funded the Recollection Collection. Charlie’s Place received the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Excellence in Care Dementia Care Program of Distinction for a second time.
Launched the Recollection Collection and the Recollection Collection At Home kits to aid in the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s. Launched “LGBT Liaisons” program to support special needs community. “The Faces of Alzheimer’s” photo exhibit traveled throughout the 10-parish area, viewed by more than 100,000 people. Expanded Sharing the Journey: Resources 101 class to Livingston Parish. Incorporated the curriculum for a Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Disease class in LSU’s OLLI Lagniappe program.
Certified as a Safe Space for LGBT population. Expanding Lunch-N-Learn program to each of the 10 parishes served. Implementing “It’s Never 2 Late” (IN2L) program in Charlie’s Place. Expanding the curriculum for a Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Disease class in LSU’s OLLI Lagniappe program to Ascension Parish. Increased impactful touches by 64%.
Recertified as a Standards of Excellence nonprofit, one of only 14 in Louisiana. Launched Arts in Alzheimer’s program modeled after NY’s Museum of Modern Art program. Education Conference featured Teepa Snow, renowned expert on Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Celebrated Alzheimer’s Awareness month with a quilt depicting the history of Charlie’s Place on display at the Louisiana State Archive building. The quilt is now in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s traveling quilt collection. Increased impactful touches by 23%
Introduced Tuesday’s at Charlie’s Place program for both those affected and the caregivers. Program staff presented at the Pioneer Conference delivering My Story, a person-centered approach to caregiving. Development Director Debbie Little was named AFP’s Professional Fundraiser of the Year and Damian Calato, former Board President, was named Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year. Held the first Day of Memories in recognition of Alzheimer’s Awareness month. Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals contracted for 25 nursing homes to receive our Recollection Collection and dementia care training. Increased impactful touches by 25%.
Charlie’s Place in Gonzales was opened in April 2017 and Alzheimer’s Services joined the Ascension Chamber of Commerce. Alzheimer’s Services held the third annual Day of Memories in recognition of Alzheimer’s Awareness month. Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals contracted for 50 nursing homes to receive our Recollection Collection and dementia care training. A new support group titled “In The Beginning” was started for caregivers of loved ones with younger onset (65 years old and younger) Alzheimer’s disease. Charlie’s Place Activity & Respite Center in Baton Rouge celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Alzheimer’s Services joined the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce. The organization topped 200 Rosemary Society donors. Teepa Snow presented at the 24th annual education conference. LSU’s Department of Social Work completed its Music and Memory study at Charlie’s Place in Baton Rouge.
Education Conference saw record numbers with keynote Joyce Simard, MSW. Received $100,000 Challenge Grant from the Lamar & Dixon Foundations to raise funds for a second Charlie’s Place location in Gonzales. Implemented emergency relief and respite care for affected individuals and caregivers affected by the Great Flood of 2016. Services Director, Dana Territo, received the NADSA Director of the year Award. Executive Director, Barbara Auten, received the LANO Force for Good Award. Participated in the first #GiveBR online donation campaign.