If you are looking for answers to your questions on Alzheimer’s Disease, all the resources you need were made available at Avon Place Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Avon last week at a public Lunch & Learn presentation by Alzheimer’s Association Education and Outreach Specialist Jamie Inks, CTRS, CDP.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is always here for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will get someone to talk to,” she said of the Association. Just call their 24 Hour Helpline at (800) 272-3900.
Her comprehensive presentation walked guests through the early, middle and late stages of the disease. By the end of the session, guests could explain the communication changes that take place throughout the course of the disease, decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia and respond in ways helpful to the person, and identify strategies to connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.
Many of her suggestions are simple. “Throughout the different stages of the disease, it is going to be up to us to make the changes needed to communicate. They are not going to b able to change,” she said. “It is very important to remember that they can’t control what they say or do, but we can control what we way or do.”
Keeping things simple and laughing together can help. Approach the person gently at their level if seated and make eye contact. Let them know you hear their concerns. Use short sentences and simple words and repeat as needed. Try to join the reality they may be and help them feel safe and happy. Connect through all senses like hand massages, watching colorful videos, listening to familiar music and tasting/smelling familiar foods.
Understand what you can and cannot change, treat the person as the adult that they are, and meet needs with soothing and calming compassion.
All Alzheimer’s Association services are free. They are funded through events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Avon Place, located at 32900 Detroit Road in Avon, has opened a new specialized Memory Care Unit focusing on Alzheimer and Dementia Memory Care in a secured and safe environment. The new, 30-bed unit features completely remodeled suites and private suites.
The Cleveland Area Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is located at 38440 Chester Road in Avon. (440) 272-3900.