Creating Partnerships to Provide the Saavy Caregiver Program

Shawnee Alliance in collaboration with SIU-Family Practice Memory Clinic, SIU-School of Social Work Dr. Elaine Jurkowski and the Carbondale Regional Alzheimer representative will be offering the Savvy Caregiver Program course starting in September 28th thru November 2nd.

To reach the persons we feel could benefit, the Memory Clinic will be reaching out to their patients and Shawnee Alliance will be reaching out to Family Caregiver clients we are aware of.

There are a few unique opportunities being offered:

  • The care receivers will either be in the Memory Clinic testing or being cared for by Dr. Jurkowski “Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)” group.
  • The care givers will be in the “Savvy Caregiver” program.
  • All will be located in the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale complex, with ADS in Carbondale also being approached to assist if unable to participate in the CST.
  • We will have telephonic access available as well as Care Coordinators from Shawnee Alliance will offer face to face in the home if necessary.

For more information about the program (or how to think about setting up a similar one in your community), please contact:

Marsha Nelson
Community Service Unit Director
Shawnee Alliance
Phone:  618-985-8322 or 618-956-9627

Health professionals—get tools and training for your practice

Health professionals—physicians, nurses, social workers, and others—play an important role in identifying and caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Check out Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources for Professionals to access FREE resources on topics like:

  • Tools for assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management
  • Disease-specific information
  • Professional training and curricula
  • Clinical trials and studies
  • Patient care
  • Patient and caregiver education

Health professionals—get tips on talking about cognitive problems

Healthcare providers, particularly primary care clinicians with long-standing relationships with a patient, are often in an ideal position to notice signs of cognitive decline in older adults. Visit Talking with Your Older Patient to learn about:

  • Screening for cognitive impairment and how to talk to the patient about screening
  • Communicating with a confused patient
  • Conveying findings
  • Working with family caregivers

Tips for making a hospital stay easier

A trip to the hospital can be stressful for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers. Here are some ways caregivers can make a hospital visit easier:

  • Help hospital staff understand the person’s normal functioning and behavior.
  • Tell the doctor immediately if the person seems suddenly worse or different.
  • Share the load—ask friends and family to make calls, send emails, or use online tools to keep others informed about the person’s progress.

Check out this tip sheet for more information about hospital stays including emergency room tips, what to pack, and things to do before a planned stay.

Support Options for Long-Distance Caregivers

Many people find themselves caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia from far away. This task can feel especially frustrating as Alzheimer’s progresses and makes it harder to communicate. Here are some ways to find support and manage your stress:

  • Join a caregiver support group in your community or online.
  • Check out the Eldercare Locator—a federal service that connects older adults and their caregivers with information on senior services.
  • Take care of yourself by exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

Learn more about long-distance caregiving—getting started, things you can do from far away, and finding local help.

International Alzheimer’s expert June Andrews speaks at Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago’s Center for Gerontology hosted a lecture by June Andrews, Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom Stirling University, Scotland.

The event was held on Tuesday, June 28, at 2 p.m., in Christopher Center, Room 200 on the University’s main campus in River Forest, IL. The event was presented in cooperation with the Scottish Home and the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Illinois Chapter.

Professor Andrews, RMN, RGN, FRCN, discussed worldwide best care practices for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She also discussed and signed her book, When Someone You Know Has Dementia: Practical Advice for Families and Caregivers. As Director of the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre for over a decade, Andrews has made a profound impact on health care in the U.K. and worldwide. Professor Andrews was joined by local experts Melissa Tucker, Director, Helpline and Support Services at the Alzheimer’s Association; Raj C. Shah, MD, Rush University; and Julie Bach, PhD, MSW, Dominican University on a panel to discuss the cross-cultural implications of dementia.

“June Andrews is a refreshing force of nature—smart, politically astute, amusing and possessed of a razor-sharp intellect,” says Dr. John Holton, Director of CUC’s Center for Gerontology. “Her exceptional knowledge and background perfectly complements the new Alzheimer’s-focused initiatives being developed by the Center for Gerontology.”

Andrews supports other health and social care teams as a coach and mentor, and has led successful teams for three decades. In 2011, she gained recognition for her international work through the Robert Tiffany Award, and was presented in Philadelphia with the first-ever Founders’ Award of the British American Project, of which she is a Fellow and advisory board member. She received the Chief Nursing Officers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and in 2013 she was listed in the Health Services Journal as one of the 50 most inspirational women in health care and separately as one of the 100 most influential clinicians in England. Most recently, she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom, the highest honor that the RCN can bestow.