Dementia is a feared word in today’s society. It is normal to experience an array of emotions after receiving a diagnosis. The fear and stigma surrounding dementia makes envisioning a meaningful future where your strengths are valued seem impossible. Today, 5 million people in the US are living with dementia. New perspectives and approaches to support individuals living with dementia are needed today more than ever. Dementia is complex and can hold challenges but also opportunities for experiencing joy and learning. Eskaton believes in building inclusive environments where relationships flourish and differences are embraced. Eskaton is committed to offering innovative home-based support, education and residential living to support those living with dementia and their family care partners throughout Northern California and beyond.
Click here to learn about Eskaton Dawn of a New Day Memory Care program.
First define dementia in a way that is understandable. Eskaton defines dementia as a shift in the way a person experiences the world. The best education is to understand that although your brain will experience changes in executive function, attention, memory, perception, motor skills and language there will also remain many strengths. Your brain is adaptive and will create new ways of communicating, growing and learning. There are support groups available for both persons’ living with dementia and family care partners that discuss the lived experienced and ways to continue living meaningful lives. Join an online community to connect with others living with dementia and exchange ideas and form meaningful relationships. If you are looking for an early-stage support group locally contact Judy Filippoff, MSW, Early Stage Program coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900. For a list of support groups through Alzheimer's Aid Society of Northern California click here or visit the Alzheimer’s Association support group and education calendar. Remember, you are not alone in your diagnosis. Watch video.
Supporting the emotional and physical needs of another person can be both exhausting and extremely rewarding. If you are an adult child with parents in need of support, it is a way to give back the love and nurturing they provided you. There are online support groups just for family care partners. Review the Savvy’s Caregivers education guide (part 1 and part 2) for more tips and articles on how to become a Savvy Caregiver. Here are some things to remember:
If you are starting to feel the burnout of caregiving, find respite care or support immediately. If you need care during the day while you are at work, look for adult day care in your area.
Living well with dementia is possible but your lifestyle and environment play a significant role in both your health and well-being. Diet, exercise, stress and your community all contribute to your holistic wellness.
Maintaining a balanced diet can both slow cognitive change and improve overall health. A balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables, fish, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B complex and vitamin E have been shown to reduce cognitive change and improve overall health.
Physical exercise has been shown to improve overall cognitive wellness. Incorporating activities such as walking, running, hiking, and other forms of aerobic exercise can improve both your physical and cognitive health.
Environmental stressors, both chronic and perceived, can contribute to reduced cognitive ability. Stress left unchecked can turn into depression, anxiety and can cause physical ailments like trouble breathing, sleeping and fatigue. Try eliminating known triggers of stress in your life and incorporate activities that bring you joy.
The fear and stigma surrounding living with dementia may contribute to feelings of social withdrawal. Isolation and loneliness can lead to depression and increased rates of cognitive change. Staying connected and engaged with your community is essential to your health and well-being. Join a meet-up group, club or support group who accept and understand the changes you are experiencing.
When you need help or have questions, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 help line at 800-272-3900.
If you are in need of additional support, consider Eskaton’s home support network, Dayspring Pre-memory Care or Dawn of a New Day program:
Dayspring Pre-memory Care offers a blended or transitional approach to assisted living and memory care. Residents early in their journey with dementia experience supportive independence and engage regularly in opportunities that promote self-expression, meaning and growth. Eskaton’s well-being philosophy believes in person-directed care where each person contributes and participates in their wellness plan.
Dawn of a New Day Memory Care offers a transformative well-being approach to care that supports the seven domains of well-being: identity, connectedness, security, choice, meaning, growth and joy. Residents participate in their own care and thrive in a supportive environment designed specifically to support their needs and promote socialization. Residents enjoy the intimacy of private or semi-private rooms with integrated technology that enhances independence. Opportunities to connect around the neighborhood are bountiful from gardening in the courtyard to dining with close friends during meals. The integration of music, art, animals, children, volunteers, family members are a part of the daily fabric of our neighborhood ensuring laughter and joy are plentiful!
To learn more about these programs, contact one of the communities below.