No one can be fully prepared for the challenges of Alzheimer’s caregiving, but there are ways that we can better prepare caregivers for the demands the disease brings. That’s why one organization is encouraging caregivers to participate in “Caregiver Education Days.”
Learn more about how Caregiver Education Days can help caregivers prepare for the challenges that come with caring and loving someone with Alzheimer’s.
A Lack of Caregiver Education
As the Alzheimer’s epidemic grows, so does the need for more caregiving training. In the past five years, caregivers’ demand for more information has increased from 73% to 84%, according to the Family Caregiving Alliance.
The top three areas in which caregivers reported needing more assistance and education included:
- Keeping loved ones safe
- Making end-of-life decisions
- Managing their own stress
Another study found that 46% of family caregivers perform some sort of medical or nursing care but most had received little training.
How Caregiver Education Days Can Better Support Alzheimer’s Caregivers
The lack of caregiver education and training can have a negative impact on the caregiver and a loved one living with Alzheimer’s, bringing confusion and stress to an already difficult situation.
A caregiver trainer and Executive Director of the Memory Care Alliance for Northern New Mexico, David Davis is seeking to mitigate this problem with “Caregiver Education Days.”
In New Mexico, there are 39,000 people living with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia. That number is projected to increase to 53,000 people (36% of the state’s population) by 2025. Davis says, “The bad news is the statistics are wrong… the statistics are based on people who have a diagnosis. Over half the people I work with do not have a diagnosis.”
His non-profit, the Memory Care Alliance, is a partnership between community-based organizations that serve caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s, including the University of New Mexico’s Memory Center. “One of our mission points is to try to take the fear out of this,” Davis says. “This whole culture of this disease has got to change.”
The Memory Care Alliance offers caregiving classes, counseling, planning services, support groups and even the use of medical equipment for local families. They also have a “Prepare to Care” class to help caregivers and people with the disease understand more about what they can expect as the disease progresses.
Are you a caregiver who would like more family caregiver education? What areas would you like more training in? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.