Published on Mon, 11/18/2013 by Home Instead Senior Care

New Tools for Families Caring For A Parent With Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most feared chronic diseases among Canadians. A disease often labeled an “elderly issue” is increasingly affecting people from an earlier age. In just five years, as many as 50 per cent or more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Each diagnosis not only affects the one being diagnosed, but also their family, especially those providing the majority of care.

Home Instead has developed a free, downloadable smartphone app that families can use to search behaviours and help find solutions when they have to quickly react (available at the iTunes store or on helpforalzheimersfamilies.ca).

Caring for a loved one with a chronic disease is a full-time responsibility- evenings, weekends and holidays, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. These family caregivers become the invisible and hidden backbone of the health and long-term care system in Canada.

Most Canadian caregivers are not equipped with the knowledge, tools or resources to handle the challenging behaviours associated with this disease. Thanks to the most experienced provider of in-home care for seniors, free resources are now available to help families cope.

The Home Instead Senior Care network is offering free Confidence to Care at Home Kits. Available on www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.ca or from a local Home Instead office, the kit is an at-a-glance collection of information, tips and resources to help handle difficult situations, avoid household accidents, encourage engagement and prevent caregiver stress. It’s designed for any member of the household to reference, anytime it’s needed.

In addition, the company has developed a free, downloadable smartphone app that families can use to search behaviours and help find solutions when they have to quickly react (available at the iTunes store or on helpforalzheimersfamilies.ca). Called Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Daily Helper, the app is designed to help families manage issues as they arise, whether at home or in public. For example, if a smartphone user types in “wandering,” the app will provide a list of tips for addressing the issue right now and preventing it in the future.

“Alzheimer’s impacts not only the estimated 500,000 Canadians with the disease or a related dementia, but also the handful of people who provide care and support for that person,” said Home Instead president Jeff Huber. “We want to replace fear with a sense of confidence that they are equipped to handle any situation.”

For more information about Home Instead’s free Alzheimer’s and dementia support resources, visit www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.ca.

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