Support for family of people living with dementia
More than a third of Hope Hospice and Home Health’s patients are living with some degree of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms that adversely affect a person’s cognition, as well as some behavioral abilities that interfere with a person’s daily functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. Most patients with dementia will experience some form of memory loss in addition to a decline in other abilities such as communication skills, reasoning, and motor skills.
While dementia can be difficult and frightening for the patient, it can also be very challenging for family members. Watching a loved one begin to struggle with day-to-day activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating is not easy. Family members may also find it difficult to interact in meaningful ways with their loved one as memory and other skills decline.
Dementia classes for family caregivers
Hope Hospice provides dementia-specific education to the community at no cost, even if your loved one is not one of our patients. Several classes in our Family Caregiver Education Series address aspects of dementia care. The Series, which covers a variety of topics of interest to the family caregiver, is offered on one Saturday month, year-round. The classes that address dementia topics are popular, so we offer the same presentation on select afternoons and evenings midweek to accommodate various schedules.
These classes will help anyone who cares for someone with dementia to:
- Understand how patients with dementia communicate their needs and desires through other behaviors;
- Tactics to assess, interpret, and respond to their loved ones to foster an improved quality of life;
- Develop strategies for handling behaviors such as wandering, delusions, and aggression.
MIDWEEK CLASSES SATURDAY CLASSES
Knowing what to say and do to improve interaction
It’s not always easy to communicate and interact with a loved one living with dementia. They can often seem distant and disengaged. When you change the way you communicate, you may have more success reaching them. To help, our volunteers can meet with family members to gather information about the patient such as:
- Past experiences and important memories
- Favorite things, likes and dislikes
- Key family members
- Words and situations to avoid
We create an “All About Me” report and poster to share with Hope team members and personal visitors. This information gives visitors and caregivers personal prompts that may help them to engage the person living with dementia. This approach has resulted in many patients responding and interacting once again with the people around them.
Please join our volunteer team. Our Living with Dementia program is growing, and we need the support of volunteers to deliver the very best care to patients. You can learn more about our volunteer program by visiting our FAQ page or contacting the volunteer manager at (925) 829-8770 or by email. When you’re ready to serve, fill out a volunteer application.
VOLUNTEER APPLICATION VOLUNTEER FAQ