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Learning How to Live with Dementia

Posted by Eskaton on Feb 1, 2016 4:58:01 AM

Eskaton supports a wide range of research and innovative strategies determined to make Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia a thing of the past. But today, over 5 million people in the US are suffering from this disease. There are 45 million family members providing care to those with dementia and other age related illnesses. Eskaton is committed to older adults and their family members to offer flexible options for the level of care needed. Below are resources, support groups and services available in Northern California and beyond.

Newly Diagnosed
Education and support is essential for the newly diagnosed. Understanding the physical changes in the brain is the first step. Take a tour of your brain on the Alzheimer’s website to better understand how it works and learn about the seven stages of Alzheimer’s. Often people resist reaching out for help at first. You will find support groups to be very useful in learning: 1) How to cope with the disease, and 2) Uncovering people’s experience with symptoms and treatments. If you are looking for an early stage support group contact Judy Filippoff, MSW, Early Stage Program coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association at (800) 272-3900. For a list of support groups through Alzheimer's Aid Society of Northern California click here or visit the Alzheimer’s Association support group and education calendar. Remember, you are not alone in your diagnosis. Watch video

Caregiver Support and Respite Care
Caregiving can be both emotionally draining and extremely rewarding. If you are an adult child with parents needing care, it is a way to give back for the love and nurturing they provided you. There are online support groups just for caregivers. Subscribe to Today’s Caregiver for more tips and articles on how to become a Fearless Caregiver. Here are some things to remember when providing care:

  1. Take care of your health. Don’t neglect your own doctor’s appointments. You’re physical and emotional strength is needed to care for your loved one.
  2. Set realistic goals each day. Don’t try to overdo it. Caregiver burnout is a very real and serious thing.
  3. Eat balanced meals often. Avoid skipping meals. Carry protein snack with you just in case you are waiting in a doctor’s office for prolonged periods.
  4. Sleeplessness is common, but you need sleep to recharge your energy. If you are experiencing sleep disturbances, check in with your doctor.
  5. Don't give up activities you love. You need time to relax and do things you enjoy. Make time for yourself at least once a week if not more often. Even a walk around the block can give you the strength needed to support your loved one.

If you are starting to feel the burnout of caregiving, find respite care immediately. Respite care is similar to childcare, or a parent hiring a babysitter for a night out. If you need care during the day while you are at work, look for adult day care in your area.

Learning to Live with Dementia

Your doctor will discuss options for conventional therapies including drugs. Other therapies such as art, music and poetry, can have a positive impact on quality of life and well-being for both the patient and the caregiver. When you need help or have questions, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 help line at (800) 272-3900.

If you are ready for additional levels of care in a secure environment, consider Eskaton’s Dayspring Pre-memory Care program or the Dawn of a New Day program:

Dayspring Pre-memory Care offers a blended or transitional approach to assisted living and memory care. Assisted living residents experiencing mild cognitive impairment and early dementia receive the services and care of assisted living along with the support and assurances of Dawn of a New Day Memory Care.

Dawn of a New Day is a philosophy and empathic approach that distinguishes Eskaton’s memory care by its commitment to highly-trained compassionate staff, engaging activities for people with cognitive challenges, support for family, and an environment of respect.

Click here to learn more about these programs.

Topics: About Eskaton, Living with Dementia

The Sacramento region is home to Eskaton, a nonprofit senior care provider offering innovative housing, healthcare and social services. Every day thousands of older adults enjoy retirement at our independent senior living communities and receive the care they need through assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, rehabilitation and in-home care programs. With five decades of experience and a national reputation for innovation, Eskaton is Transforming the Aging Experience.