Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s or Other Dementia

Caring for a Loved One With  Alzheimer’s or Other DementiaSome days you lose track of your wallet. Other days you can’t remember how to prepare a meal. You are an individual with dementia, a condition that interferes with your brain cells communicating well with each other. And you are not alone. Every three seconds, another case of dementia occurs somewhere in the world.

Almost 50 million people worldwide are known to have dementia, which is the name for a group of progressive brain syndromes that affect thinking, memory, behavior and emotion. Among the over 100 forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most widespread, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. An estimated 5.7 million people in America are living with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Disease International, an umbrella organization of some 90 Alzheimer’s associations around the globe, notes, “Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly.” Early-onset dementia can affect individuals younger than 65, but the majority of individuals with dementia are seniors. As dementia symptoms advance, the person may struggle with memory loss, performing regular tasks and finding the right words to communicate. The Alzheimer’s Association in the U.S. reports that one in three American seniors dies from Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

To help with dementia awareness and research and ease the stigma that dementia patients and their families often face, Alzheimer’s Disease International designates September as World Alzheimer’s Month, and Sept. 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day.

“Although currently there is no cure for dementia, a number of treatments and support are available,” said Cathy Queen, RN, Owner of Right At Home of the Rivercities. “As a leader in providing home care for seniors and adults with disabilities, we at Right at Home are honored to join with millions of others in fighting Alzheimer’s and other dementia. We offer specialized care to be of greater assistance to dementia individuals and their families.”

Standing Together Against Dementia
To provide more extensive support to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, Right at Home partnered with a leading dementia expert, Jackie Pool, to develop a proprietary Cognitive Support Program. Debbie Friedman, Right at Home’s Director of Organizational Learning, summarized the three key components of the program:

1. Focusing on Abilities
“We focus on a person’s abilities instead of disabilities,” Friedman explains. “We look for what someone can still do and give that person as much opportunity as possible to maximize what he/she is still able to do.”

2. Teaming With Families
Friedman notes that caregiving for dementia and cognitive-challenged individuals is a “journey for families that should not be done alone. We coach families on how to better interact with their loved one.”

3. Providing Person-Centered Care
Pool’s groundbreaking work with person-centered care directs caregivers to view the world through the eyes of the person with cognitive changes. “I describe ‘person-centered’ as learning what makes each of us unique snowflakes,” Friedman explains. “We all are different and we all have different likes. Who was the person before the disease? We need to understand what brings meaning and joy to each person and makes life worth living.

“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those we serve, which includes not only our clients, but also their families, friends and neighbors,” Friedman continues. “People want to help their loved ones who are struggling with cognitive issues, but they don’t know how. The Cognitive Support Program gives them the how.”

Free CEU Webinar on Supporting People
Living With Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia

“A diagnosis of dementia, Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline does not mean that life is over,” Friedman adds. “There are ways to continue having quality of life. Our Cognitive Support Program aims at helping people understand how to make that quality of life happen. Our goal is to give dementia clients and their families something to look forward to instead of something to dread.”

Join us Sept. 20 at noon CT for a Right at Home-sponsored webinar, “Person-Centered Care for Someone With Dementia,” hosted by the American Society on Aging. During the webinar, Friedman will discuss elements that are important to keep in mind when working with individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia or cognitive decline. A free CEU credit is available for nurses, counselors, therapists and social workers. Registration information is available via this link: http://www.asaging.org/web-seminars/person-centered-care-someone-dementia.

About Right at Home
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care and assistance to seniors and adults with a disability who want to continue to live independently. Local Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, and bonded/insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home’s global office is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with franchise offices located in 47 states nationwide and throughout the world. For more information on Right at Home, visit About Right at Home at http://www.rightathome.net/about-us or read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/blog. To sign up for Right at Home’s free adult caregiving e-newsletter, Caring Right at Home, visit http://caringnews.com.

About Right at Home of the Rivercities
The Rivercities office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, LLC, serving the communities of the Tri-State going on 10 years. We directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, and bonded/insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care and assistance to seniors and adults with a disability who want to continue to live independently.

For more information, contact Right at Home of the Rivercities at www.rahrivercities.com 1-866-453-2128 or by email at cqueen@rahrivercities.com For more information on Right at Home, visit About Right at Home at http://www.rightathome.net/about-us or read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/blog. To sign up for Right at Home’s free adult caregiving e-newsletter, Caring Right at Home, visit http://caringnews.com

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