Illinois Cognitive Resources Network

Connecting to resources throughout your dementia journey

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End of Life: How to be There for a Person with Dementia

Dementia is a disease that causes the gradual loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning abilities, and eventually leads to death. However, even in the advanced stages of dementia, a person can benefit from emotional and spiritual help. Two different ways to support a person with dementia are through: Sensory connections: Targeting someone’s senses, including hearing, touch,Continue reading “End of Life: How to be There for a Person with Dementia”

Looking for Help With Legal and Financial Planning?

Many people are unprepared to deal with the legal and financial consequences of a serious illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Legal and medical experts encourage people recently diagnosed with a serious illness — particularly one expected to cause mental and physical decline — to examine and update their financial and healthContinue reading “Looking for Help With Legal and Financial Planning?”

How Can I Stay Connected with an Aging Parent or Relative from Far Away?

Try to find people who live near your loved one and can provide a realistic view of what is going on. This may be your other parent. A social worker may be able to provide updates and help with making decisions. Many families schedule conference calls with doctors, the assisted living facility team, or nursingContinue reading “How Can I Stay Connected with an Aging Parent or Relative from Far Away?”

Advance Care Planning: Health Care Directives

Advance care planning is not just about old age. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you too ill to make your own health care decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you wouldContinue reading “Advance Care Planning: Health Care Directives”

How to Support a Local Caregiver from Far Away

A spouse or the sibling who lives closest to an aging parent often becomes the primary caregiver. Long-distance caregivers can help by providing emotional support and occasional respite to the primary caregiver. Ask the primary caregiver what you can do to help. Staying in contact with your parents by phone or email might also take some pressureContinue reading “How to Support a Local Caregiver from Far Away”

How to Share Caregiving Responsibilities with Family Members

Caring for an older family member often requires teamwork. While one sibling might be local and take on most of the everyday caregiving responsibilities, a long-distance caregiver can also have an important role. As a long-distance caregiver, you can provide important respite to the primary caregiver and support to the aging family member. Talk About Caregiving ResponsibilitiesContinue reading “How to Share Caregiving Responsibilities with Family Members”

Making the Most Out of Visits With Aging Parents or Relatives

Talk to the care recipient ahead of time and find out what he or she would like to do during your visit. Also check with the primary caregiver, if appropriate, to learn what he or she needs, such as handling some caregiving responsibilities while you are in town. This may help you set clear-cut andContinue reading “Making the Most Out of Visits With Aging Parents or Relatives”

Where Can I Find Local Resources for an Aging Parent or Relative?

Searching online is a good way to start collecting resources. Here are a few potentially helpful places to look: Eldercare Locator, 800-677-1116 National Institute on Aging website Family Care Navigator Your state government’s website You might also check with local senior centers. Learn more about long-distance caregiving. For a print copy of NIA’s booklet on Long-Distance Caregiving: TwentyContinue reading “Where Can I Find Local Resources for an Aging Parent or Relative?”