Home Instead Senior Care offering free Alzheimer’s care training

Home Instead Senior Care of Blaine will host two workshops in the next couple of weeks to offer free counsel, support and instruction to people who care for family members who have Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

The free training sessions are from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 at the King of Glory Christian Center at 10041 University Ave. N.E.

Melissa Howe, community service representative, of Home Instead Senior Care, encouraged caregivers to attend both sessions because there would be different topics covered.

The Nov. 27 session will cover the causes of Alzheimer’s and other dementia, how to recognize the symptoms and how these diseases are diagnosed. Instructors will also give tips on how you can provide the best care for your loved one, techniques to encourage them to share their stories and how to record information about one’s past in a life journal.

The Dec. 4 session will highlight the challenging behaviors that may be displayed by those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, and techniques to help handle these behaviors. This workshop will encourage those affected by memory loss diseases to stay active in the mind, body and soul. If a caregiver is having problems getting their loved one to be active, this workshop will offer some useful ideas to get this accomplished.

Call the Home Instead Senior Care office in Blaine at 763-792-0041 to register for these workshops.

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion surveyed more than 1,200 Americans to gain perspective on the issue of Alzheimer’s. The findings were that 63 percent of respondents knew someone with Alzheimer’s or a serious memory loss problem. Approximately 44 percent cited Alzheimer’s as the illness they feared the most, even above cancer, which came in at 33 percent.

If diagnosed, they feared the inability to care for themselves, that they would be burdening others and that they would forget the important memories and people of their lives.

“The survey confirmed what I frequently hear from family caregivers — people feel unprepared to care for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” said Dan Arnold, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Blaine. “The need for support and education for these families is critical.”

Howe personally knows that a growing trend is that many family members are becoming the personal care assistants (PCAs) of their loved ones. The cost of going to a facility staffed by professionals and the desire to stay in their own home are the big reasons why the trend has gone this way, she said.

In some circumstances, especially when the economy was at its worst, the family may not have been able to leave the home because of the poor housing market.

“The estimated 15 million Americans caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s are desperate for support and concerned about the care they are providing,” said Dr. Amy D’Aprix, aging care expert and a developer of the Home Instead Senior Care Alzheimer’s CARE training program. “This training will help them cope with daily challenges and prepare them to manage difficult behaviors.”

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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