The local Home Instead Senior Care® office is offering a unique approach to help area families in Southeast Allegheny County manage the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, diseases that eventually rob seniors of their memories and independence. Free training for families caring for these older adults is now available through online e-learning modules, available at HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com.
The Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging through Research and EducationSM Training Program offers a personal approach to help families care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease at home, where 60 to 70 percent live, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Until there is a cure, we offer an interim solution,” said David Baron, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office that serves Southeast Allegheny County.
The foundation of the Alzheimer’s CARE Training Program is an approach called “Capturing Life’s Journey®” that involves gathering stories and experiences about the senior to help caregivers provide comfort while honoring the individual’s past. Because people with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty with short-term memory, the Capturing Life’s Journey approach taps into long-term memory.
The Home Instead Senior Care network assembled the top experts in Alzheimer’s disease to develop the CARE approach. Also serving on the panel is geriatrician Dr. Eric Rodriquez, an associate professor of medicine in the geriatrics division of the University of Pittsburgh. He provides primary care and consultative services to older adults at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Benedum Geriatric Center located at Montefiore Hospital. “The training we’re offering to families is the same kind of training our professional CAREGiversSM receive,” he noted.
The program for family caregivers consists of four classes: Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias Overview; Capturing Life’s Journey; Techniques to Manage Behaviors; and Activities to Encourage Engagement. Also available is a free guide for those who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Called Helping Families Cope, the guide includes advice to help families keep their loved ones engaged and manage behaviors.
“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 have dementia. This is huge,” she added.
“The preferred environment for those with dementia is generally at home,” said Potter, who served on the expert panel to help develop content for the Alzheimer’s CARE Training Program.
And yet, families caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s at home are dealing with challenging behaviors such as anger, aggression, wandering and refusing to eat, according to research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network.
“That makes the Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE Training Program a solution for the many families in our area who are being impacted each day by devastating side effects of this disease,” Baron said.
For more information about free family caregiver training or to obtain a free copy of the Helping Families Cope booklet, contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office at 412-205-3345 or visit HelpforAlzheimersFamilies.com.
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and EducationSM Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.