Strategies for Communicating with Loved Ones Living with Dementia

Providing care for a family member with a disease like Alzheimer's – or any other dementing disorder – is an act of love and commitment. BUT, it is also a new role and gives family members a new job description. Taking on the role of family caregiver is more and more the norm for working adults, and virtually none of us is trained for it – we don't have the knowledge and skills to perform what is essentially a combination of clinical tasks. What is known about taking on this role is that it is very often rewarding, but it is also often difficult and burdensome. Being a Savvy Caregiver can make the work more rewarding and less burdensome.

This brief workshop will pursue three major aims. First, it will provide participants with an understanding of the ways in which Alzheimer's disease – and similar dementias – progressively affects person's abilities to use cognitive powers, control emotions and behaviors, and carry out everyday tasks and activities. Second, it will propose that there is a reasonable goal for (and way of judging) caregiving, one that is aimed at the person's comfort and that doesn't cause caregivers to beat themselves up. And third, the workshop will offer practical suggestions about how family members might communicate and develop care strategies that acknowledge and take into account the losses that are produced by the disease. The workshop is an abbreviated version of the Savvy Caregiver Program, an educational program that has been shown, in a randomized trial, to reduce dementia family caregiver distressed. The Savvy Caregiver Program was developed by Dr. Ken Hepburn of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory.

May 16, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
N.H. Woodruff School of Nursing , 101

Registration Deadline: May 16, 2013

Facilitator: Dr. Kenneth Hepburn

Strategies for Communicating with Loved Ones Living with Dementia Recording

Strategies for Loved Ones Living with Dementia-5-16-13Final.pdf