Almost half of all U.S. caregivers are taking care of a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. To help those caregivers learn practical strategies so they can better navigate their new role, the Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 3 to 4 p.m. that combines two educational programs: “Caring for the Caregiver” and “Effective Communication Strategies.”
“Communication is more than just talking and listening; it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language,” the Alzheimer’s Association writes. “As people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress in their journey and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect.”
The webinar is especially timely as more and more caregivers have reported increased isolation and decreased sense of well-being as a result of the pandemic. Those caregivers of an older adult with dementia have reported a higher rate of declined health (one in three) as compared to those who care for seniors without dementia or Alzheimer’s (one in five).
“COVID-19 has been difficult for all of us, increasing the incidence of depression, anxiety and isolation,” Pam Myers, program director of the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, told Richland Source. “For those who take care of someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, which is a 24/7 job, it has been particularly challenging. These caregivers have been increasingly isolated and many times unable to take advantage of usual support systems such as respite care.”
The “Caring for the Caregiver” portion of the webinar offers practical steps on how caregivers can better care for themselves and deal with feelings of anger and guilt that often arise from caregiving. The “Effective Communication Strategies” portion will teach caregivers how to navigate and interpret the words and behaviors of someone with dementia, and how to better communicate with an older adult through each stage of the illness.
“Teaching caregivers how they can concentrate on caring for themselves is especially important during the pandemic when the family may not be able to provide extra support and having someone come to provide respite care may not be feasible,” Myers said.
Register for the webinar online or call 800-272-3900 for more information.