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Road Scholar Caregiver Grants Offer Respite and Renewal for Family Caregivers

Esther Corcoran’s life took a dramatic turn when her husband Mark was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 57. Without a second thought and with future plans and dreams crushed, the Connecticut woman became an instant caregiver, taking on the challenge of caring for her husband as they headed down a difficult road together.

Esther couldn’t have known how taxing her new role would be — managing long hours and the accompanying emotional and physical challenges. When she learned of Road Scholar’s Caregiver Grants, she applied for the $1,300 grant applicable toward a Road Scholar learning adventure in the U.S. or Canada.

Not long after being accepted, Esther traveled from Connecticut to northeast Maine for the Road Scholar adventure, “Art by the Sea in Coastal Maine — Memoir Writing.” In the tranquility of the small town of Trescott, a highlight for Esther and her fellow Road Scholars was being challenged to observe and record everything around them for an hour.

“It was very powerful to be in the moment in this beautiful little town,” Esther says. “For the first time in six years, I had time to get away and have moments of peace and rest. I’m deeply appreciative of the grant program and those who make it possible.”

November is Family Caregiver Month — Road Scholar, the not-for-profit educational travel organization dedicated to inspiring adults to learn, discover and travel, recently surpassed $100,000 in financial assistance awarded to family caregivers. The Caregiver initiative was created to offer respite from the emotional responsibility of caring for a loved one, which often leads to feelings of isolation, depression, stress and anxiety.

“The generous support of our donors makes financial assistance possible,” says James Moses, president and CEO of Road Scholar. “Road Scholar has been a powerful force in people's lives since its beginnings, changing perspectives, opening minds to new ideas, providing opportunities to see the world differently. Road Scholar programs provide learning and camaraderie in a welcoming setting. And, for family caregivers, that time away can be profoundly meaningful.”

Learn more and apply at

Mark passed away in late October. Esther continues to share their story through her work with their local Alzheimer’s Association to support others on similar journeys.


About Road Scholar

Road Scholar is the nation’s largest educational travel organization for adults – a true university of the world. This not-for-profit educational organization offers 5,500 extraordinary learning adventures in 150 countries and 50 states. Road Scholars are immersed in a variety of educational activities, enlisting renowned faculty and experts who offer insider access not available to most individuals. Dedicated to making educational travel available to everyone, Road Scholar offers financial aid for those who otherwise could not participate in its programs.

Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit world leader in educational travel for adults since 1975. To learn more, please visit or check our blog at