Anyone who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease knows the heartbreak and frustration of caring for Mom or Grandpa. Now nursing homes with Alzheimer's patients are trying novel approaches that add a heavy dose of TLC to the equation.
This Newport News Daily Press story profiles one Virginia facility that encourages patients to cook, iron or perform other household tasks if they so choose. "What we're really trying to do is create home," Barbara Dearmon, Riverside Health System's memory support adviser, says in the story. "Most people want to be in their home, but there comes a time in this disease state where that's not possible." Check out the full story here.
Of course none of this cures the disease; there's no known cause or treatment for the estimated 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. But the approach of this nursing facility and others points to the importance of creating an environment that recognizes individual needs. The Alzheimer's Assn. explains it this way:
"No two people experience Alzheimer's disease in the same way. As a result, there's no one approach to caregiving. Your responsibilities can range from making financial decisions, managing changes in behavior, to helping a loved one get dressed in the morning. Handling these duties is hard work. But by learning caregiving skills, you can make sure that your loved one feels supported and is living a full life. You can also ensure that you are taking steps to preserve your own well-being."