Helping Alzheimer’s Families Preserve Memories for Their Loved Ones; Home Instead Senior Care Network Selects Finalists for ‘I Will Remember For You’ Contest

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Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often develop memory problems and behaviors that can challenge the family members who provide their at-home care. The three finalists in the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s “I Will Remember For You Family Reunion Giveaway” Contest have shared their stories about how Alzheimer’s has impacted their lives. The stories are tributes to the importance of family unity and the power of memories to help individuals with dementia and their families cope with the reality of the disease.

senior looking at family photos

Preserving memories is an important part of continuing a family’s legacy and helping to engage older adults with Alzheimer’s disease.

Until there is a cure, we offer an interim solution to help families cope.

One father was the glue that held his family together and motivated his children to earn college degrees. Another dad ran a farming and dairy operation and was considered the foundation of his family. And there was the ultimate grandma who had a witty disposition, loved unconditionally and provided awesome wisdom at just the right moments.

Now all have Alzheimer’s disease – their memories fading along with their ability to handle many of the activities of daily living. Their loved ones are among the many family members who shared their stories of love for the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s “I Will Remember for You Family Reunion Giveaway” Contest. These three are the finalists, their stories poignantly detailing how Alzheimer’s has impacted their lives and why memories are important to their families.

These entries are tributes to the importance of family cohesiveness and the power of memories to help individuals with dementia and their families cope with the reality of the disease.

“All three of these entries represent the love as well as the frustration that so many families who are caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias know and understand,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Huber of Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network. Following is a synopsis of each finalist’s entry:
From Janice, describing her father who lives in Ohio:
“A Tuskegee Airman during World War II, my 87-year-old father has been the glue that has held the family together . . . Just as he was determined to grow the best lawn on the street, Daddy was even more determined to grow the best family he could. Although Daddy never realized his dream of going to college, he enabled his whole family to have a fertile life by supporting our efforts to get to college, including my mother, who has a master’s degree.’’

From Kelly, honoring her father who lives in Kansas:
“Alzheimer’s has impacted my family and me in ways that are unimaginable and painful. I’ve become the parent of an 8-year-old who is 83, and he’s my dad. Dad was a very successful farmer and single-handedly ran a dairy farm with no more than an eighth-grade education. He has been married to my beautiful mom – and still the love of his life – for almost 62 years. He raised six daughters and one son. With Alzheimer’s came our grief, but now we can feel his own loss of himself, his own confusion. He is still our rock. He is the foundation of our family.’’

From Kimberly, writing about her grandmother who lives in Ohio:
“Some days, I choke back tears as I try to explain to my grandma why I can’t visit her today, or anytime very soon: ‘It takes me a full 24 hours to drive to your house, Grandma, but I’ll see you in the summer.’ My grandma has been an essential constant in my life. These days, I just want her to feel loved, the way she made me feel when she served me “sugar toast” at her kitchen table late at night or spent days sitting with me at her dining room table tracing our ancestor’s roots and telling me stories, long before the internet came along.

See videos of the three finalists and hear their stories on the Help for Alzheimer’s Families website, where the public can vote for the one that most deserves a $10,000 family reunion, compliments of Home Instead, Inc. Online voting will also be possible through the Remember for Alzheimer’s Facebook page and will run through June 30, 2012.

The contest is part of the Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education(SM) Training Program. The no-cost program, which is available to families through their local Home Instead Senior Care office, provides an innovative approach to preserving memories and gives family caregivers the tools to help capture a senior’s past to better manage the challenging behaviors that are a part of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Preserving memories is an important part of continuing a family’s legacy and helping to engage older adults with Alzheimer’s in daily life. Family videos and photo books recall happy occasions for seniors who are struggling with short-term memory loss that characterizes Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“Until there is a cure, we offer an interim solution to help families cope,” Huber said.

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 950 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGivers(SM) worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education(SM) Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere.

Additional information about the company is available from Home Instead Senior Care’s online press kit.

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Erin Albers
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