Being a caregiver for somebody suffering from dementia can be an intimidating task. Determining where to start, what needs to be done, and how to be an effective caregiver are all questions that need well-thought answers. Thankfully, there is a wealth of knowledge and resources available that offer not only answers but also effective strategies to provide the best care possible. To help those new to dementia caregiving, or to simply offer some additional knowledge to those who are already in the role, below are three sources of information to learn about effective caregiving techniques.
Baycrest Health Sciences
Baycrest, an academic hospital located in Toronto, provides care for older adults across a variety of institutional and community-based settings. Home to some of the world’s best scientists and researchers who specialize in cognitive decline and disorders, the Baycrest website offers valuable resources for those who find themselves in the position of caregiver for dementia patients. Specifically, the Baycrest eStore sells Dementia: A Caregiver’s Guide, a book that offers practical tips and coping strategies in areas such as activities daily living, communication, sex and intimacy, managing challenging behaviours, driving, falls prevention and home safety. A very useful resource for anyone caring for a person with dementia. Click here to connect to the product page.
Alzheimer Society Canada
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is a not-for-profit health organization that works to improve life for Canadians affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Their website (www.alzheimer.ca) offers information and resources that the public can tap into. Particularly useful is their brochures and publications page, which provides links to dozens of free downloadable PDF’s related to dementia. Categories include Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosis, person-centered care, living with dementia, and much more. To take advantage of these fantastic resources, visit their website or follow them on Twitter to get regular updates.
The Alzheimer’s Association is another resource well worth a visit for caregivers. Similar to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, this organization’s website provides free resources for all those who are touched by dementia. However, specific for caregivers is the Caregiver Center. Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers face unique challenges, and the Alzheimer’s Association offers several support mechanisms that can help, including tips to help manage day-to-day behaviours, communication, and activities; getting support through local chapters, message boards, and support groups; as well as resources to help plan for the future. To get an overview of the organization visit their website (www.alz.org), or simply read through the resources within the Caregiver Centre for help specifically tailored to caregivers. The Alzheimer Association can also be followed on Twitter for regular information and tips.
Caring for individuals suffering from dementia can be a difficult task and is often filled with questions that need quick answers. Use the above-listed resources to help manage the ongoing challenges associated with being a caregiver, and be sure to connect via social media for regular updates.
For more help on managing dementia, join the CC-ABHI mailing list or follow along on Twitter.