If someone you love has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, please know you’re not alone. These diagnoses impact millions of American families. Often, older adults and the caregivers who support them don’t know how to react or what their next steps should be.
Caregivers play a crucial role in supporting their aging loved ones through this diagnosis and the many appointments and changes that come with it. By being in this position, though, many caregivers run the risk of encountering burnout or feeling overwhelmed by their new role.
There is good news, though. There are many local programs and resources created specifically to provide support to caregivers. People and organizations are ready and willing to help those who need it within the Cincinnati area. Let’s take a look at some of the resources and support groups you can turn to when you need them.
The Alzheimer’s Association has a chapter here in the Greater Cincinnati area. They have a 24/7 helpline that can provide information and support whenever you call.
Their family care consultations are a great place to start soon after your loved one receives their diagnosis. Led by a nurse or social worker, these consultations provide support, education, and referrals to needed services. No matter where you are in the journey, these consultations can help you have more peace of mind and confidence in your next steps.
The Alzheimer’s Association also facilitates family support groups, which are discussion groups where participants can share stories, struggles, insights, and tips with others in their same situation. These meetings can help you feel more connected to others who understand your experience. If you need support now, check out their online community with stories and information available around the clock.
Finally, they also have many community-based events for caregivers as well as individuals who live with dementia. The “Memories in the Making” program, for example, includes sessions at places like the Cincinnati Zoo, local museums, and Cincinnati Parks.
ERS Center for Memory Support and Inclusion
Here at Marjorie P. Lee (MPL), we are committed to providing excellent memory care to our residents who need it, as well as support for their caregivers. Episcopal Retirement Services’s (ERS) Center for Memory Support and Inclusion is an initiative dedicated to providing safe and welcoming spaces for all. MPL leverages this program to ensure living spaces are designed not to overwhelm those with dementia. We have implemented and offered the Living Well Memory Support Therapy program that keeps residents engaged and stimulated holistically.
Our staff of kind, caring individuals, are provided with top-tier training to ensure that your loved ones receive the best care possible. This includes improv training to help them positively engage with residents. Finally, the Center has become a leader in the Cincinnati community, advocating for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. We aim to provide local businesses training to ensure that those living with these diagnoses and their caregivers will feel welcomed into these businesses.
Caregiver Support Program
The Council on Aging has a support program dedicated to caregivers. This program is open to anyone caregiving for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia and caregivers who meet other qualifications.
While you might not initially see yourself as a caregiver, you are. And you need support, too. By identifying as a caregiver, the Council has found that people are more likely to seek out help for themselves.
When you’re caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you need to prioritize your care. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Finding a support group will better equip you to take care of those you love and show up well for them.