Family Sessions

We are proud to be offering family training sessions where your specific questions and situational experiences can be analyzed and answered. Although reading about dementia and other people’s experiences is helpful, your personal situation is always a little bit different and therefore requires a different approach to overcome challenges. These sessions are available in the home – which lends the ability of our Dementia Specialist to observe environmental factors – or online via live video conferencing.

With our “Choose Your Own Adventure” style sessions, you get to choose from the list of modules available you would like to go through as a family. We are offering our service in this way to ensure that every individual family gets the information that is most pertinent to them. Below is a description of each of our available modules:

Module 1: We’re Worried our Loved One has Alzheimer’s Disease or other Dementia
This module is an overview of what Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are. We will look at the symptoms and risk factors, the different causes, the stages of dementia, and conditions that often mimic dementia. We will then go over how to be prepared before visiting the doctor such as notes you should bring, and the medical tests you can expect to go through.

Module 2: Isn’t there a Cure?
In this module we will review both the pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to supporting a loved one living with dementia. We will go over drugs like Aricept and Namenda, and therapies such as music, exercise, and animal therapy. We will then personalize these approaches by taking your loved one’s preferences and life history into account to determine which therapy would work best.

Module 3: The Care Plan
In this module we will explore the “How To’s” of assisting with activities of daily living (i.e., oral care, continence care, dressing, meals, etc.). We will look at what makes your loved one unique and how we can support them as an individual throughout the day. By the end of the session, we will have produced an individualized care plan for your loved one so that everyone can help out using the most effective techniques and strategies.

Module 4: What to Expect when you’re Expecting
During this module we will review the possible trajectories your loved one may take with regards to memory, personality and behaviour, and physical abilities. We will also review the changes you may experience in yourself including role transitions, conflicting emotions, and caregiver burnout. We hope to be able to give you some strategies to help cope during this journey as well. Lastly, we will explore the various assistive devices available (i.e., walker, grab bars, toilet seat raisers, etc.), continence products, adaptive eating utensils, adaptive clothing, wayfinding cues, and monitoring systems. All of these products will coincide and help during transitions in memory, personality and behaviour, and physical abilities that your loved one will experience.

Module 5: Lifestyle Options
In this module we will review the living options available to your loved one including staying at home, day programs, respite care, moving into a retirement home, assisted living, or to a long-term care home. Our Dementia Specialist will do an assessment of the home to identify areas where changes could be made to increase safety and accessibility. You will also be given forms to use when visiting retirement homes, assisted living facilities, or long-term care homes. These forms will highlight the available features you may want to look for in these alternative living options. Lastly, if your family would prefer assistance in selecting an alternative living option, our Dementia Specialist can attend the home visits with you.

Module 6: The Law
In this module we will highlight regulations and legal documents that become important when supporting a loved one living with dementia. First, we will review a Power of Attorney – what it is, how it works, etc. We will then look at Living Wills and Advance Directives. If your loved one is living in an alternative lifestyle option such as a long-term care home, they will be protected by the Resident Bill of Rights. Lastly, we will explore government offered caregiver benefits such as tax breaks and stipends that you will be able to access.

Module 7: End-of-Life
In this module we will explain the key signs that signify death is near. We will examine the differences between Palliative care, Hospice care, and End-of-Life care. We will also look at some difficult decisions you may need to make such as care options near the end of life. Lastly, we will go through how to support your loved one’s dignity and the processes of arranging a funeral.

 

These modules can be modified slightly to further personalize each session to your family’s specific needs.

Please contact us at info@thebigd.ca to schedule your session.

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