[This piece was written by Andrew Delollo, MA, grant manager for Eddy Alzheimer’s Services.]
There are more than 1 million family members and friends caring for the nearly 400,000 New Yorkers currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. As any one of those individuals will tell you, caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias is often a full-time and exhausting role.
In order to alleviate some of the financial and emotional burden placed on these caregivers, Eddy Alzheimer’s Services offers a wide range of free support and respite services for caregivers across a 10-county region including Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie.
The services are funded through a grant from the New York State Department of Health and include critical support in several key areas.
Specially trained social workers serve as care navigators who meet with caregivers of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias to develop a personalized plan to help them find needed resources, services, and community connections. In addition, they serve as a continuous source of support throughout the caregiver’s journey.
Family consultations are facilitated by care navigators and provide a forum for caregivers and family members to come together to discuss areas of common concern, and work collaboratively to develop strategies to address these concerns.
Education and training programs help caregivers understand the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and prepare them for their evolving roles as a caregiver. Programs may include: behavior management strategies and interventions, coping skills, and caregiver wellness.
Caregiver support groups are designed to provide emotional support, information, resources, and a platform for caregivers to share strategies and lessons learned with other caregivers.
Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can often be mentally and physically exhausting. Respite care provides temporary relief from the stresses associated with caregiving.
Respite services may include:
- In-home respite
- Adult day program
- Facility-based care such as an assisted living residence or nursing home
Alzheimer’s Care Teams
Alzheimer’s care teams are groups of volunteers, usually consisting of four to 12 members, who provide valuable non-medical assistance, support, and companionship to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their families.
Team members receive training and ongoing support through Eddy Alzheimer’s Services. Care team members may provide the following services:
- Assistance with transportation
- Meal preparation
- Offer medication reminders
- Run errands
- Brief respite visits
The Eddy, an affiliate of St. Peter’s Health Partners, is a comprehensive continuum of health care, supportive housing, and community services that reaches 22 counties and serves more than 40,000 people yearly. Eddy Alzheimer’s Services offers a comprehensive range of memory care services, including care management, education, and outreach support, as well as compassionate care for individuals living and coping with memory loss.
If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. To learn how Eddy Alzheimer’s Services can help you, please call us at 518-238-4164 or visit us at www.sphp.com/alzcare.