A good time for Alzheimer’s awareness

September is World Alzheimer’s Month dedicated to those who suffer from this disease and other dementias around the globe. And today, September 21, is World Alzheimer’s Day. Families and caregivers are wearing purple to put forward its cause to address the importance of early diagnosis, treatment and especially care.

Alzheimer’s is acknowledged as the most common form of dementia. Working with these patients whether in a facility or in the home setting is challenging not just for he or she who suffers, but also for the families and other caregivers.

Information abounds on the subject. Research indicates that 25 percent of family caregivers seek support online. As long-term care providers, imagine the resources at your disposal and how you can educate and support your staff and families to improve quality of life for the victims of this disease. Providing information and counseling to those who care for their loved one at home creates a sense of goodwill and community partnership.

A great number of programs, ideas, books and websites are available little or no cost. Search them out. I’d like to share a few items I’ve recently discovered.

Sunrise’s Alzheimer’s family caregiving guide

As part of a full slate of programming for today’s World Alzheimer’s Day, Sunrise Senior Living released a caregiving guide specifically for families caring for those with the disease. Aside from being a great way to reach families with the message that Sunrise is a trusted resource for good caring, the guide has some genuinely helpful tips for those who are part of the “memory loss journey” with a loved one. Click here for a digital version of the Alzheimer’s caregiving guide.

Alzheimer’s survival guide

A new book, Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: The Caregiver’s Complete Survival Guide by Nataly Rubinstein, offers encouragement, good advice and suggestions to engage the person with Alzheimer’s through 23 affordable activities. “It’s a sad but true fact that—at some point or another—most caregivers are guilty of succumbing to the ‘Let me do it for you, honey’ syndrome,” she says. Rubinstein, a licensed clinical social worker and geriatric care manager, has more than 26 years of professional and personal experience working with people with dementia.

This is just a sampling of the various available resources. I guarantee that you’ll discover some interesting, and maybe even amazing, ideas to incorporate in your program or share with your community.

Share your “Good Stuff.” Send information on your achievements, outstanding personnel, inspirational residents, and more to Executive Editor Sandra Hoban at shoban@iadvanceseniorcare.com.

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