A person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia must deal with major life changes. This is also true for the family member, who adopts the role of primary caregiver. In many cases, the caregiver is impacted most by the life changes and bears the heaviest burden in dealing with the disease. Therefore, to only address quality of life issues for the person with dementia without significant regard for the needs of the caregiver is only half a solution, at best.
A dementia coach is someone with expertise in effective care-giving practices for people diagnosed with dementia and one that recognizes and gives considerable attention to the needs of the caregiver. Typical services performed by a dementia coach are as follows:
- Provides an assessment of the person diagnosed to determine current stage of disease
- Defines and set goals for the person with dementia and the caregiver
- Cultivates an environment to maximize the diagnosed person’s independence
- Helps families better understand the disease
- Creates strategies to minimize symptoms
- Restores a sense of normalcy in the home to the extent possible
- Recommends measures that meet home safety requirements
- Designs a setting to reduce stress, anxiety, and guilt
- Provides support and structure in dealing with the disease
- Develops solutions to on-going, dementia-related problems
- Increases caregiver confidence through education
- Creates teamwork among family members and the caregiver
- Provides objective feedback and guidance
In a nutshell, a dementia coach can help you prepare for the future while living successfully in the moment.