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

Minimize danger around the house—tips for caregivers

People with Alzheimer’s disease may not see, smell, touch, hear and/or taste things as they used to. Make life safer around the house by:

  • Checking foods in the refrigerator often. Throw out anything that has gone bad.
  • Put away or lock up things like toothpaste, lotions, shampoos, rubbing alcohol, soap, or perfume. They may look and smell like food to a person with Alzheimer’s.
  • If the person wears a hearing aid, check the batteries and settings often.

Remember to re-evaluate the safety of the person’s home as behavior and abilities change.

Learn more about home safety for people with Alzheimer’s.

Caregivers—have you and the person you care for had these vaccinations?

Caregivers, please talk to your doctor about getting the vaccinations you need.  Also, make sure that the person with Alzheimer’s is also current on the following immunizations:

• Flu
• Pneumococcal Disease
• Tetanus and Diphtheria
• Shingles
• Measles, Mumps, and Rubella

Learn more about vaccinations for older adults in the AgePage Shots for Safety. And don’t forget to schedule updates for your own immunizations!

Sign Up for NIA’s New Caregiving E-Mail List

Caregivers—get helpful resources delivered straight to your inbox! Sign up for the NIA for Caregivers list and receive biweekly e-mails with information and tips about:

• Alzheimer’s caregiving
• Long-distance caregiving
• Caregiver health, and more!

Help a person with Alzheimer’s prepare for doctor visits

Caregivers play an important role in helping people with mid-to-late stage Alzheimer’s communicate with their doctors.

Make the most out of your time with the doctor with these tips:
• Make a list of what you and the person with Alzheimer’s want to discuss.
• Prioritize your concerns so you talk about the most important issues first.
• Plan to update the doctor on any changes in health, behavior, or medication side effects.
• Take lists of all medications for the doctor to review. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal remedies or supplements.
Learn more about getting the most out of doctor’s appointments.
Caregivers—remember that you need regular check-ups, too! Book your annual doctor’s visit today.

End-of-life care options for people with Alzheimer’s

Thumbnail of End-of-Life Care: Alzheimer's Caregiving Tips

Caring for someone in the final stage of life is always hard. It may be even harder when the person has Alzheimer’s disease.

Palliative care provides comfort care, along with any medical treatments a person might be receiving for a life-threatening illness. When a person is near the end of life, hospice care gives family members needed support and help with their grief, both before and after the person with Alzheimer’s dies.

Learn more about end-of-life care and Alzheimer’s disease by downloading the 2-page Caregiving Tips document from the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center.

Caregiver Tips: Managing Personality and Behavior Changes

Thumbnail of Managing Personality and Behavior Changes tip sheet

Personality and behavior changes are common with a dementia syndrome.  Such changes are a common cause for concern for caregivers.  The Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) of the National Institute on Aging has created the following 2 page tip sheet to describe common personality and behavior changes along with providing some potential suggestions for how caregivers should manage the changes.  Please click the link below to access the tip sheet.

alzheimers-caregiving-tips-managing-personality-and-behavior-changes