Engaging Family Caregivers With Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care Training

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care: Empowering Family Caregivers through Training

Key Takeaways:

  • Caregivers receive practical advice and information, including the logistical, clinical, and emotional aspects of caregiving, empowering them with essential knowledge and skills.

  • Over 340 family caregivers attended this live training, engaging in the chat with peers and asking questions throughout the 60-minute duration.

  • Caregivers find these sessions deeply practical and supportive:“WOW – this is great information – both of my parents and several other loved ones are Alzheimer’s/dementia patients.”

When it comes to caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnoses can often have the heaviest impact on family caregivers. As they watch their loved ones cognitively decline, they may be dealing with anticipatory grief, while also taking on immense physical burden, assisting their loved one with basic and instrumental activities of daily living.

Many Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are unequipped to manage the intensity and frequency of the care they are taking on, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults in the U.S. do so for someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. About 83% of the help provided to older adults comes from family members, friends, or other unpaid caregivers.

In the U.S., estimates suggest that between 70% to 81% of people with dementia receive care from family and friends.

And still, our healthcare system and processes don’t acknowledge their contributions materially. The contributions of informal and family caregivers could not be more significant. One critical oversight is a lack of training for these caregivers. Most are taking on complex and critical care plans in the home with no guidance or resources.

At ianacare, our caregivers often attend training sessions on various caregiving topics. Our most popular and highly attended sessions focus on Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

Engagement & Trust With Family Care Teams

This training was led by our Director of Caregiver Navigator Program, Bahamia Ulysse. Bahamia has extensive experience in the healthcare industry, with over 18 years of experience as a licensed practical nurse and certified dementia practitioner. Bahamia leads our Navigation program, providing caregivers 1-1 with practical and emotional support at every point in their journey.

This session is one of our highest attended, and a majority of our caregivers are managing the care of a loved one who is facing an Alzheimer’s/dementia diagnosis, at a range of stages, from early-onset, pre-diagnosis, and through to end-of-life preparations.

This topic brings out the authentic and deep sense of community our caregivers find in having a shared space to listen, learn, and connect with one another on the similarity of their experiences and challenges.

This session alone had over 340 registrants.

Within the world of Alzheimer’s and dementia care, caregivers will face a range of challenges that they are too often ill-prepared for. With new programs and investments from the federal government like the GUIDE payment model from CMS, more attention is being put on the critical need to provide these caregivers with tangible support. One key pillar of that program is a comprehensive training program that informs and prepares caregivers for the realities they may encounter as they care for their loved one.

Key Points & Takeaways Shared With Caregivers

In this session, Bahamia dives into the key pillars of Alzheimer’s/dementia caregiving: logistical, clinical, and emotional.

There’s also a large focus on the importance of respite. The benefits of respite to the caregiver, and ultimately the patient as it encourages a rested caregiver.

  • Defining respite: A short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.
    • This reframes respite into a realistic and achievable act of relief vs. the “vacation” or “recharging” activity it’s often depicted as, which can feel out of reach for most caregivers
  • How to find respite: From technology that simplifies respite research to tactics from getting support from friends and family, we share several realistic avenues for caregivers to find relief, all available and navigated through the ianacare solution.
  • Maximizing the impact of respite: When & how to optimize respite breaks
    • Recognizing signs that respite is needed
    • planning ahead and planning for different types of respite
    • Creating a mindset shift when entering a time of respite to ensure a sense of relief and calm

Lastly, this session touches on one of the most common challenges our Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers face– family dynamics. As several adult children (and other family members) coordinate to manage the care of a parent, differing opinions, and differentiation in workloads and responsibilities can cause unproductive and harmful clashes.

The Value of Community in Caregiver Training

Caregivers have consistently shared how much the trainings help them in their own care journeys. Below are some of the real-time chats and comments received during this training session:

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