In November, Meridian Senior Living communities will recognize and celebrate both National Alzheimer’s Awareness and National Family Caregiver’s Month. During this month, select communities will offer free memory care virtual workshops hosted by memory care professionals.
“When someone in the family has dementia, it changes everything,” states Sue Johnston, VP Program Development. “Taking care of yourself and finding needed resources will be essential to your well-being as well as that of the person you are caring for. Meridian Senior Living partners with organizations who also provide needed resources and one of those resources we and many others have found invaluable is an app from the Alzheimer’s Association called Science Hub. This app is free and provides the latest news, information and expert views about Alzheimer’s and dementia research. This is one of the amazing resources we promote to caregivers, family members and anyone involved. Join one of our Virtual Support Groups where you will interact with others facing similar situations.”
National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month was founded in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan dedicated November to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to increase awareness and demystify fallacies surrounding the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2019 there are 5.8 million Americans living with AD and this figure is expected to triple by year 2050, AD ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the nation and is incurable, AD follows a 14 year course and goes untreated for half of that time, screening is vital as intervention is most effective during the early course of the disease, heart healthy diet and lifestyle help prevent AD, and the total cost in the U.S. associated with AD in 2019 is estimated at $290 billion. Understanding the disease has become increasingly important in helping afflicted family members and loved ones experience better outcomes.
National Family Caregiver’s Month stresses that caregiving is a difficult job and those individuals deserve to be recognized for their compassionate efforts that they afford to comfort millions of seniors around the nation. This month is dedicated to ensuring that caregivers take care of themselves so that they can take care of others. For 2020, the theme is: “Caregiving around the Clock.”
To recognize both National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family Caregiver’s Month, Meridian communities are hosting free virtual Mini Dementia Workshops which offer families and caregivers strategies to cope with the challenges AD presents. These workshops are based on Meridian’s exclusive memory care programming: MONTESSORI MOMENTS IN TIME (MMIT). The goals of MMIT are to enhance living for those with memory challenges by using the five directional paths. Each directional path has the resident and family in mind to encourage independence and helps deal with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. These paths include Family Connections, Health and Wellness, Dining Experience, Life Engagement, and Team Promise. Family Connections focus on the well-being of our families through social gatherings, volunteer opportunities, support, and education. Health and Wellness is based on providing satisfying experiences, promoting independence, and encouraging positive behavior while maintaining respect and dignity. The Dining Experience leverages meals as a time to reminisce, create new memories, maximize independence, and promote socializing, all in an inviting environment. Life Engagement includes scheduled programs that support the whole person allowing residents to function at their highest potential, giving them a sense of purpose and overall well-being. Team Promise focuses on developing care partnerships through ongoing education and training.
Understanding the challenges caregivers of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia face daily, onsite experts run the free Mini-Dementia virtual workshops that cover topics of importance to caregivers. Each month, the workshops cover a different topic regarding memory impairment. Sample topics include: “Three Stages of Alzheimer’s”, “Holiday Tips for Caregivers”, and “What is Dementia?”.
Interested participants are required to reserve their spot by visiting their local communities' website and completing the RSVP section.