Learning to take care of a parent experiencing dementia can be challenging, but there are several training programs and great resources that can support you through the transition. Available options for gathering information include workshops, books and training sessions which are led by a certified organization.
There are several online programs, including essentiALZ®, an individual certification from the Alzheimer’s Association, that can walk you through important facts about caregiving via the web. These types of programs are suited for family members and health care professionals alike, so both groups can benefit from this type of training. There are two levels of training you can choose from with essentiALZ: one is for dementia-related behavior and the other is for advanced care, which can be purchased online.
The organization also provides free e-learning workshops online that cover many aspects of senior care, including early detection, legal and financial planning and all three stages of Alzheimer’s.
The American Red Cross also provides plenty of practical information about what to do in the event of an emergency with a senior, how to create a network of support for your mother or father, and the best ways to ensure your parent’s health and wellness.
Publications about caregiving
If you would rather have a hands-on copy of these facts and figures, the Alzheimer’s Association sells a well-established publication on the subject, the “Caregiver Notebook,” which was penned by actual caregivers and includes places where you can write your own notes.
Another popular option you may want to purchase is the Coach Broyles’ playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. Broyles is the former athletic director for the University of Arkansas and wrote the book after spending time caring for his wife. In true sports fashion, the publication is written mainly in football playbook-style and is easy to understand.
The Alzheimer’s Association also noted a well-received DVD series entitled, “The Savvy Caregiver,” which is designed and suited for families. These DVDs are meant to be watched once a week over the course of a month, so these electronic devices can be used in your own free time. This is a well-respected recording that has even been used in some university research for caregiving that was published in the journal The Gerontologist and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
If your family is faced with a dementia diagnosis or you are struggling to take care of your senior mother, it is important to know that you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of tools and support groups available that can give you insight into skills and sensible information on how to move forward.