"For days, my husband has been asking the same question: 'What day is this?' He does not want to put friends or helpers to any trouble including him in meetings or get-togethers. He'll just drop out. He is so dependent on everyone since he is not allowed to drive anymore. His beloved truck and family sedan just sit and wait. He still smiles and hums, but would rather sit alone and read. He shows love, but is so quiet and silently interested . . . I don't understand."
This caregiver—whose spouse has Alzheimer's disease—describes the frustration and confusion that grips families whose seniors are dealing with the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
The characteristics of these diseases are varied and change with time, but often leave families and their caregivers frightened and ill-equipped while they try to provide at-home care for their seniors.
A new groundbreaking training program now offers help for the many families who are dealing with challenging behaviors including refusal, delusions (or false beliefs), aggression, false accusations, wandering and agitation.
The Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education℠ Training Program takes away some of the dread associated with these diseases. The no-cost program, which is available to families through their local Home Instead Senior Care® office, provides an innovative approach that helps families make the most of a senior's life journey. The unique approach includes the history, passions and hobbies of the person with Alzheimer's disease to help manage challenging behaviors associated with dementias.
"CARE is a wonderful hands-on approach that helps caregivers deal with the behavioral changes that too often accompany these disorders—one of the biggest stressors for caregivers," said Dr. Jane F. Potter, chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "There was previously no good program available using adult education techniques to provide hands-on practice in learning how best to help people who suffer from dementia. This is huge."
Resources of the Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE Training Program can help family caregivers understand Alzheimer's disease and the changes they can expect to see in their loved ones. With the increased knowledge of Alzheimer's and how to deal with it, family caregivers will be better able to cope with the stress of their responsibilities.
Local Home Instead Senior Care offices can provide even more information about making the most of living with Alzheimer's and other dementias, giving caregivers hope for a brighter future. Too often, a family caregiver can become overwhelmed—physically and mentally—with providing in-home care and can see a slide in his or her health.
This CARE Family Caregiver Training Program is the same curriculum that is being offered to professional Home Instead CAREGivers℠. While providing respite services to families, Home Instead CAREGivers are trained to maintain a safe environment, encourage engagement, provide nutritious meals, offer supervision of medications, make trips to pharmacies for prescription refills, create social interaction, deliver mind-stimulating activities, provide transportation for medical appointments and supervise and assist with activities of daily living.
The CARE Family Caregiver Training Program is being offered by local Home Instead Senior Care offices throughout the country or through a self-guided online e-Learning course.