November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, designated by Ronald Reagan as a time to show support to dementia sufferers and their caregivers in 1983, when less than 2 million Americans suffered from the disease. That number has grown to 5.7 million today and the need for awareness and support is greater than ever before.
There are currently over 16 million individuals in the United States serving as caregivers for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and while showing support for the Alzheimer’s Association’s goals and honoring those caregivers is a great place to start, there are also tangible ways to show support for families dealing with the reality of a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease:
- Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease. Learn how to help manage the disease and its effects, as well as how to respond to the person with dementia.
- Stay in touch. Visits, calls and notes are meaningful.
- Offer support in the form of a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. The stress of a dementia diagnosis affects the entire family.
- Engage the person with dementia. Even as the ability to communicate lessens, the dementia sufferer benefits from contact and familiar faces.
- Offer to help with tasks on the family’s to-do list. Prepare a meal, offer a ride or help with errands.
- Provide a reprieve for the caregiver by spending time with the person living with dementia.
At Senior Lifestyle we understand that when memories fade, it’s the moments that matter. Families facing a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease need support and patience in order to adjust to the reality of living with the disease and its effects. We offer support to caregivers by providing respite care and connections with support groups as well as providing education for families and caregivers. Additionally, our embrace philosophy offers a holistic approach to care for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about support for caregivers or our unique approach to memory care at a Senior Lifestyle community in your area, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.