With the baby boomer generation aging, more caregivers are facing the impacts of dealing with Dementia. More than 5 million Americans already suffer from Dementia. There is currently no cure and it is unlikely that one will be developed in time to help this already surging demographic. Thankfully, there are new hopes in reducing the physical, emotional, and financial strain of Dementia care.
First, pets are a great way to get older people out of the house and walking. Pets provide a boost to one’s mood and can alleviate some of the loneliness that many older people feel who live alone. If a trained therapy animal is affordable, these companions can find a lost person, offer medication and meal reminders. If a live animal is not feasible, in some instances a robotic pet is inexpensive and can help with calming agitation and reduce the use of anti-psychotic medications.
Training and education both for those experiencing the Dementia and their caregivers are invaluable. In the New York City area, we are fortunate to have excellent resources from such agencies as CaringKind, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and the Alzheimer’s Association. They provide support groups, referral hotlines and educational resources that are invaluable.
COHME’s Home Health Aides are trained in Dementia Care. Dementia training provided by CaringKind and Inspired Memory Care has provided our aides with the skills and knowledge they need in order to provide the best possible care for those living with Dementia. In sum, Dementia is tough on both the individual with the diagnosis and their caregivers. New innovative approaches like those mention in this blog can help.