Symptoms of dementia can be especially confounding and difficult to manage. Caregivers need current and relevant information to be successful in providing care. Dementia can take many forms, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for over 50% of all dementia. The disease is in reality a set of symptoms that requires a doctor to pursue a diagnosis of a more specific type of dementia disorder.
For the caregiver, this disorder also may be difficult to manage because the person may look and seem as they always did, with the exception that their memory is impaired. Caregivers need to remind themselves that the person’s judgment is impaired and that they need more help than they might think. It would be helpful for prospective caregivers to learn as much as possible about their loved one’s specific brain disorder. The article, Debunking a Dementia Myth, and the following videos may be helpful.
There are many national, regional and community supports for the caregiver and person suffering from dementia. Agencies dedicated to specific types of dementia exist. These organizations focus on education, research and activism. Their contact information is listed in the Resource Directory. Local disease specific programs with educational and socialization components for both the caregiver and person suffering from dementia include community support groups, hospital affiliated programs, and Adult Day Services.
In addition, CJE SeniorLife has several residential and community support programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, as well as groups for their caregivers. Information about support groups, residential care, and structured day programs in the downtown area and northern suburbs of Chicago can be found on the main CJE SeniorLife website.
The following sections may assist you: