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Alzheimer’s & Dementia Certificate Program for Caregivers

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Course Syllabus Includes

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

  • Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50-80% of dementia cases.
  • Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
  • Statistical data
    • More than 5 million American are living with Alzheimer’s.
    • Every 67 seconds someone in US develops Alzheimer’s.
    • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
    • Approximately 500,000 people die each year because of Alzheimer’s.
    • 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
    • In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care.

Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • Challenges with oral and/or written communication
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • The difference between typical age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s

Hands-on Care

  • Safety considerations (preventing falls)
  • Facilitating reminders, to-do lists and daily plans
  • Medication management
  • Behavior management
  • Turning and lifting techniques
  • Communicating effectively with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s
  • Promoting self-care (eating, toileting, oral care, etc.)
  • Feeding and aspiration
  • Addressing wandering, confusion with time or place, and completing familiar tasks at home
  • When to call the doctor

The Caregiver’s Role

  • Safety first
  • Multiple roles (i.e., cook, chauffer, accountant, etc.)
  • Developing strategies to promote an independent, active lifestyle for your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s

Challenges of Caregiving (Dealing With a Loved One Who May Be:

  • Anxious or ashamed
  • Depressed
  • Paranoid/Violent
  • Agitated [Sundown Syndrome]

Strategies to Avoid Caregiver’s Stress

  • Do something you enjoy
  • Stay in touch with friends and family
  • Find a support person or group
  • Eat a balanced diet

Legal Documents and Procedures

  • Medical directive
  • Maintaining contact information for the healthcare surrogate, power of attorney, and/or decision maker at all times
  • Power of attorney for healthcare and HIPPA release
  • Power of attorney for finances
  • A living trust
  • A will

End-of-life Care

  • Home care
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Hospice