I can’t bring these families a cure, but I can help them conquer their fears by giving them the power of knowledge and show them how to better communicate and cope.
Towson, Md. (PRWEB) May 02, 2012
Half of all Americans know someone who has Alzheimer’s disease - a disease that has now replaced cancer as the most feared disease among seniors. It affects more than five million people in the United States; and that number is expected to reach 13 million within the next fifteen years!
While Americans wait for a cure for this debilitating disease, a nationally renowned Alzheimer’s and dementia care expert, Teepa Snow, is kicking-off a year-long, 24 city tour, to offer families help. Teepa turns auditoriums into active environments where she engages the audience in real-life scenarios, giving them free, riveting, hands-on Do’s and Don’ts of caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Her ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for not only the seniors but also families and caregivers struggling to cope with these diseases. These workshops are so moving, Teepa will bring attendees to tears with her extraordinary gift for acting out the emotional journey of taking care of a loved one with the disease.
Free Dementia and Alzheimer’s Workshops
- These free workshops provide essential information for care providers and family members on how to have a positive and meaningful relationship with loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia throughout their journey.
- Teepa Snow is a nationally renowned dementia care expert, occupational therapist and creator of the revolutionary Senior Gems Program. Teepa assigns each stage of the disease to a gem, like a diamond or ruby, and helps caregivers navigate every mood and movement of a loved one who is deteriorating before a family's eyes.
- Each individual who attends a workshop will go home with a free Senior Gems DVD.
The AFA Quilt to Remember
After families hear Teepa speak (cities listed below), they can also visit the AFA Quilt To Remember (provided in select cities by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America). It’s an emotionally moving and colorful tribute to loved ones and caregivers who fought the disease. It’s visually beautiful with individual panels the size of an Olympic swimming pool!
“This tour is a way for me to not only help caregivers and families cope, it’s also a chance for me to educate the nation about these diseases that are taking an emotional and physical toll on everyone they touch,” says Teepa. “I can’t bring these families a cure, but I can help them conquer their fears by giving them the power of knowledge and show them how to better communicate and cope.”
Teepa Tips for Working With People Who Have Dementia:
- Offer Supportive NOT Confrontational Communication
- Emphasize the outcome, NOT who’s the boss or who’s right
- Recognize the value of mistakes or ‘UH OHs’ - and turn them into new strategies and ‘AH HAs!’
- Provide short, simple information
- Offer concrete and clear options or choices rather than wide open requests that require both word-finding and decision-making to answer
About Senior Gems:
Senior Gems is a revolutionary program to help family members and professional caregivers properly care for their aging loved ones through each stage of dementia. Teepa Snow began developing her Gem Levels in 2006. In 2011, the Senior Gem program was created with her guidance and assistance. This program puts Senior Helpers at the forefront of individual and in-home dementia-specialized caregiving as they offer all of their in-home companions and caregivers the opportunity to become dementia care certified through the training program.
About Senior Helpers:
Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has 300 franchises in 39 states and one in Canada offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care. For more information, please visit http://www.seniorhelpers.com.
About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a leading non-profit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit http://www.alzfdn.org.
Teepa Tour: Upcoming dates
1. Atlanta, GA – May 3, 2012
2. Tampa, FL – May 4-5, 2-12
3. Nashville, TN – June 7-8, 2012
4. Portland, OR – June 21, 2012
5. Charlotte, NC – July 13, 2012
6. Northern California – August 12-13, 2012
7. Los Angeles/Orange County, CA – August 14-15, 2012
8. San Diego, CA – August 15-16, 2012
9. Phoenix, AZ – August 16-17, 2012
10. Washington, D.C. (metro area) – October 4, 2012
11. Philadelphia, PA – October 5, 2012
12. Cleveland, OH – October 22, 2012
13. Minneapolis, MN – October 26, 2012
14. Kansas City, MO – November 2, 2012
15. Long Island, NY – December 10, 2012
16. Boston, MA – December 11, 2012
17. Dallas, TX – January 7-8, 2013
18. Denver, CO – January 9, 2013
19. Louisville, KY – January 23, 2013
20. Miami, FL – January 25, 2013
21. Indianapolis, IN – March 11, 2013
22. Chicago, IL – March 12, 2013
23. Detroit, MI – March 14, 2013
24. North Jersey – April 23, 2013
Do’s and Don’ts of Working With Those With Alzheimer’s:
Most seniors with Alzheimer’s can perform a task once they get started, but they may have trouble initiating or switching tasks. Their abilities fluctuate from day to day, day to night, person to person, and minute to minute. This makes it hard to exactly predict what they will or will not be able to do. It means caregivers need to be flexible and supportive rather than pointing out the errors and getting frustrated with the changing abilities.
- If an Alzheimer’s patient forgets about a doctor’s appointment:
Don’t say “How could you forget? I told you three times!” This is frustrating for the senior to hear and puts them on the defensive. Remember, caregiving is not about being right.
Do say “I am sorry we didn’t get things worked out ahead of time for that appointment… (pause).. I thought I had said something about it, but I may not have. I will have to try to do a better job of making sure that happens, next time.” This helps break the communication barrier and helps the senior feel that the caregiver is on their side.
- Alzheimer’s patients can’t remember new information but old memories are still intact. This is brain failure.
Don’t tell someone with Alzheimer’s to meet at Macy’s at the mall if it has moved to a new location. She will go to where Macy’s used to be – to what is now JC Penny’s - because she can’t remember the new information that Macy’s has moved. She may even drive around for hours trying to find Macy’s in the old location.
Do take that person to the mall or hire a caregiver to take them. If you bring the person there, they can’t get lost.
Did You Know?
- The annual cost of caring for one individual with Alzheimer’s disease ranges from nearly $18,500 to more than $65,000, depending on the stage of the disease and the setting.
- It’s a progressive brain disorder that’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
- The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years, beginning at age 65.