As one of the most feared diseases, an Alzheimer's diagnosis presents many challenges for families living with this disease.
Because an estimated 70 percent of people with Alzheimer's live at home, the responsibility of caring for them usually falls on their families, who frequently face - and dread - the unexpected and unknown. While it may be impossible to predict behaviors exhibited by a person struggling with Alzheimer's, there are free resources available to help area families cope with whatever situation may arise.
"Many family caregivers wake up every day with anxiety and fear because they don't know how a loved one with Alzheimer's will act or react," said Joe DeLauter, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving the Central Susquehanna River Valley including, Lycoming, Clinton, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties. "We have a network of support including free tools and materials available to help family caregivers navigate the challenges that come with caring for someone with Alzheimer's."
In recognition of World Alzheimer's Month, the Home Instead Senior Care network is offering a number of free resources to help local families who are living with Alzheimer's, including workshops where family members will receive a version of the same in-depth Alzheimer's CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education training program training that was developed for the network's professional CAREGivers.
The workshops will offer specific solutions for the many common issues that arise when caring for someone with Alzheimer's. The workshops will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 24 from at Home Instead Senior Care, 130 Buffalo Road, Lewisburg, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 9 and Oct. 16 at 440 River Ave., Williamsport.
Also available is a free Confidence to Care at Home kit, an at-a-glance collection of information, tips and resources to help handle difficult situations, avoid household accidents, encourage engagement and prevent caregiver stress, that is designed for any member of the household to reference, anytime they need it.
In addition, Home Instead Senior Care has developed Alzheimer's and Other Dementias Daily Helper, a free smartphone app that families can use to search behaviors and help find solutions when they have to react quickly to a situation. The app is designed to help families manage issues as they arise, whether at home or in public.
"According to experts, Alzheimer's either is or may someday be a reality for about one-third of the families in our community," said DeLauter. "We want to replace their fears with a sense of confidence that they are equipped to handle any situation."
For more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network or its free Alzheimer's resources, visit www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com or call the local Home Instead Senior Care office at 522-6533 or 866-522-6533.