As Older Adult Population Soars, Need for Dementia Care Rises

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Atlanta Home Care Partners Adds Behavioral Health Services Component to Care

The word “dementia” is a label for a broad range of cognitive disorders characterized by memory loss and decline in language, motor, recognition, and planning skills. The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, accounts for roughly 60 to 80 percent of cases. As dementia is largely an illness of older adults, and as one of the largest generations in history moves into later life - the Baby Boomers - the urgency to better address dementia increases daily. One local home care provider has taken steps to add a behavioral health services component to the care and education that they provide to clients and families.

Atlanta Home Care Partners has partnered with Dr. Verna Benner Carson, RN, a board-certified advanced practice psychiatric nurse, and her colleague, Katherine Vanderhorst, RN, who will work with the home care agency throughout the year to provide clinical training for their caregiving staff. Carson and Vanderhorst will also assist the Atlanta Home Care Partners team with the ongoing development and implementation of an individualized care planning approach for clients with dementia, and will consult with caregivers and care managers to develop specific strategies for any behavioral challenges that clients might experience as their dementia progresses.

Additionally, Carson and Benner Carson will lead the care managers and caregivers of Atlanta Home Care Partners through completion of an intensive training program called “Becoming an Alzheimer’s Whisperer.” The program, which has been recognized by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association as a best practice in dementia care, was developed by Carson, who has educated many home care providers across the country on how to best provide support to those with cognitive decline.

“The program is designed to help caregivers better understand the needs of clients with dementia, and it also teaches them how to better communicate with those clients. This generally results in an overall decrease of challenging behaviors often presented by people coping with dementia,” says Carson. “People with dementia often have difficulty communicating and might be communicating in alternate ways – like for example, pushing away something that is given to them. We teach caregivers how to recognize these alternative forms of communication and other behaviors so that they can better meet the needs of those for whom they are providing care,” adds Carson.

The program also has benefits for family members, who experience less anxiety knowing that their loved one’s needs are being met. Additionally, caregivers can pass the information they’ve learned on to clients’ families so that they can also benefit from the training and learn to communicate more effectively with loved ones affected by dementia.

“We are honored to partner with Dr. Carson and her team because it allows us to deliver exceptional services to families of loved ones with dementia. We couldn’t be happier with the expertise, resources, hands-on training, and enlightenment that this program provides,” says Lewis Mann, owner and Chief Operation Officer for Atlanta Home Care Partners.

For more information about the various types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, visit http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics/mental-illness/dementia.htm. To read more about Dr. Verna Benner Carson and her team, visit http://www.cvseniorcare.com/who_is_c-v.php. For additional information about the short and long term dementia care services offered by Atlanta Home Care Partners, go to http://www.atlantahomecarepartners.com or call 404.228.0103.

About Atlanta Home Care Partners
Atlanta Home Care Partners, Inc. prides itself on being at the cutting edge of high quality services for the elderly who choose to remain at home in Atlanta, Georgia and is locally owned and operated by Cheryl Richards-Mann and Lewis Mann, Jr. Atlanta Home Care Partners encompasses life enrichment for the elderly and for the organization's exceptional caregivers. The Atlanta Home Care Partners experience is about extraordinary, long-term relationships based on trust, consistency and a unique social model of aging and care.

Visit http://www.AtlantaHomeCarePartners.com or call 404.228.0103 for more information.

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Lewis Mann

Lewis Mann
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