This Informative Presentation Was Given At Lambs Farm
“Communicating with Loved Ones when They Need Us the Most” was the title of a presentation given to the Rotary Club of Libertyville, on February 27th by Operations Manager Robert Bicanic of the Northbrook-based Senior Helpers office serving the north and northwest suburbs. Bicanic spoke at Lambs Farm in Libertyville focusing on dementia, how it is a growing health problem and what you can do to help your family member with this disease.
“One of the first things you need to do,” said Bicanic “is get a formal diagnosis. There are other diseases and infections that may look like Alzheimer’s/dementia such as thyroid/kidney/ liver conditions, side-effects from medicines and even brain tumors that could cause your loved one’s condition to be mis-diagnosed.”
Alzheimer’s and dementia is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States with a new diagnosis every 66 seconds. Healthcare expenses due to Alzheimer’s/dementia is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy.
During Bicanic’s presentation, he pointed out the 22 signs of dementia including memory loss, repetition confusion, poor judgement, paranoia/hallucinations, mood change and more. An individual may not have all 22 symptoms.
According to the Senior Gems Program especially created by Teepa Snow for Senior Helpers, Bicanic discussed the best ways to communicate with people with Alzheimer’s/dementia. It is important to find productive or leisure activities they will enjoy such as putting away the dishes, caring for pets, gardening, playing games, arts and crafts or going out to eat.
If you have a Senior Gem, it is important to know their medical care wishes and complete end of life planning. Family members should consider joining a support group and understand your loved ones in-home options.
After the presentation, there was time for the audience to ask questions. Some of the questions included pricing and hours per day a caregiver would work. Senior Helpers provides caregivers that will work from one hour to 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The group also wanted to know what tasks could be performed. Some of these tasks include light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry and assisting the client with whatever is needed such as getting in and out of bed, helping in the shower, or just being a companion and talking and listening to the client.