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Caring Companion Home Care of Concord, MA and the nonprofit National Private Duty Association (NPDA) will host a consumer education web conference entitled Depression and Older Adults – What Every Caregiver Should Know on March 13, 2012, at 8 p.m. EST. The live and interactive program will provide advice on how family caregivers can work with professionals to identify this condition and develop an effective plan of care for a loved one with depression. Caregivers will learn how to identify key issues and problems, locate needed experts and resources, and outline a plan to provide the best care for a parent. The event is free of charge and anyone can participate.
“Unrecognized, untreated depression is widespread among elders, who may present somewhat different symptoms, and who may need different types of treatment than younger people,” said Deborah Bier, PhD, director of the Concord office of Caring Companion. Bier holds a doctorate in therapeutic counseling, and has spent more than 20 years working with people of all ages with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. “Effective treatment can bring about an amazing improvement in quality of life and ability to function. This webinar is the type of increased public education and awareness that’s sorely needed.”
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Where do families turn when they realize that a parent’s memory is fading? Dealing with the emotions surrounding the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most feared illness in the U.S. after cancer, is difficult. The MetroWest Alzheimer Partnership, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, is hosting an educational program that is free and open to the public on Saturday, March 31st at Whitney Place in Natick.
Concrete help for families can be elusive as they struggle to provide daily caregiving, research local resources such as residential and day programs, and find local support networks. Especially difficult for families is when their loved one starts to exhibit some of the troubling behavior commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The event features nationally recognized Alzheimer expert, Paul Raia, Ph.D (above right).
Note: The following was published in our monthly column "Living and Loving: Elder Care in the 21st Century" in Gate House News' Concord Journal. We will continue this theme of dementia in this blog with periodic articles on the subject.
The popular cultural view of Alzheimers Disease and other dementias is that they are all about pain, tragedy and heartbreak. But this is only part of the story -- stop there, and we are robbed of real sweetness.
The wisdom that care partners (family, friends and professionals) can glean from people with memory problems can be profound. If viewed through an all-too-often missing lens, and by utilizing known best practices, time with such folks can also be enlightening, love-filled and satisfying.
Here are five life-affirming lessons I've received from “Habilitation Therapy,” the best standard of care for those with dementia, their families and professional caregivers. I believe that what helps dementia patients feel happy, calm, secure and fulfilled actually represents vital life lessons reduced to their essence, revealing wisdom of the ages.
Hi Deborah, I read your article online about normal forgetfulness and wanted to ask where you would turn if you were 44 and worried about this. I do live with quite a bit of stress (divorce, own business, a somewhat mentally abusive boyfriend, etc), and have always been a multi-tasker who doesn't like to focus on details. Since high school, I've been awful with names and memories of long term events.
So it didn't concern me when my boyfriend became concerned I didn't remember seeing a movie (I slept through it), or that we discussed something. We had a rocky relationship and I thought he was excusing his behavior. Recently, though, I had an intern work 3 months for me, and when a month later I tried recalling his name, I could not for the life of me remember until I looked it up. If you think I should worry? I've mentioned this to my primary and they excuse it to juggling.
On the bright side, I've noticed I am able to remember more things now that I've left the boyfriend, but I want to double check... Thank you!! -- Signed, Worried
Thanks to The Concord Journal for publishing a story about us in in today's edition. It's about how our Dr. Deborah Bier has become certified to teach the Alzheimer's Association's home care giver training course, and how vital it is to have trained caregivers for such patients. Read it here online.
You want your loved one with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias (ADRD) to be cared for at home by someone experienced in meeting their needs, right? Someone trained specifically to care for those with dementia. Of course!
But does experience really mean that home caregivers are offering the care that's truly right for people with such diseases? All too often, the answer is: NO. Caring for dementia patients is specialized and requires training for a set of skills all-too-often missing in the homecare setting.
Did you know that dementia-specific training is not included in home health aide or nursing assistant certifications? "While many home care aides have experience with dementia patients, few are actually adequately equipped to do so," said Deborah Bier, PhD, the director of Caring Companion Home Care's metrowest Boston, MA office located in Concord, MA. "As a result, many don't know or use the best, most proven approaches -- the very ones that dementia patients and their families most benefit from." The result can be challenging behaviors difficult or even impossible to manage in the home setting. But proper training for homecare workers can help make the difference between patients being able to stay comfortably (and less expensively) at home or being institutionalized.
Joanne Koenig Coste, author of Learning to Speak Alzheimers, a nationally-recognized expert on the living with the disease, will speak at Newbury Court in Concord on Wednesday, August 10 in a presentation free and open to the public.
Coste has been an outspoken advocate for patient and family care for Alzheimers patients since 1973. She is the ground-breaking co-inventor of the compassionate, easy-to-learn and common sense approach to Alzheimer's care known as habilitation. Using this method, patients and those who care for them devote themselves to making life as comfortable and pleasant as possible for both the patient and family.
She is constantly in demand for lectures and consultations nationwide. "We are so fortunate that she is coming here", said Jim Reynolds, CEO of Caring Companion Home Care headquartered in Concord, MA. "Many of our client families have a loved one suffering from dementia and we recommend her book over all others. I found the training I took based on her work to be the most valuable I have had about dealing with Alzheimer's sufferers."
Habilitation has won praise from health care professionals. The founding director of the National Institute of Aging, Dr. Robert N. Butler, wrote the introduction to Coste's book, and she estimates that at least 100 nursing homes and assisted-living centers have adopted her methods.
"When I first began my work in dementia care over 20 years ago, the philosophy of care and approach centered on Reality Orientation," says Claire Henry, Dementia Specialist and principle of Caring Resourcesin Norwood, MA. "The philosophy of Habilitation Therapy has done tremendous service for the dementia client, particularly in regard to their need to preserve 'personhood'. "Coste is currently in private practice as an Alzheimer's family therapist. She also serves as President of Alzheimer Consulting Associates, implementing state-of-the-art Alzheimer care throughout the United States.
This lecture will be held at 4 pm in the North Community Room at Newbury Court, 80 Deaconess Road. Reserve your seat by calling Deb Boyden at 978 402-8223.
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