By Gail Shaw, MPA – Coordinator of Training & Support

Have you ever had the feeling that something was not quite right, but you could not put your finger on what was wrong? Maybe you know your caregiving abilities could be improved  to produce a better outcome. Many find themselves asking these and other questions while feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when dealing with memory loss or caregiving.

Admit it, asking for help can be hard for some of us to do. We like to think we can handle it. Then something explodes in our life. This event makes us realize we need help. The next step is to look for answers.

Many have come to St. John’s Community Care for answers to their problems or questions on dementia and caregiving. We have a variety of programs for the caregiver and the individual living with a dementia diagnosis.

One such individual needed help. They were caring for their parent who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This individual felt overwhelmed, angry, and at a loss as to how to control their mother’s behaviors, deal with unhappy family members and maintain some sanity while being the caregiver. They found their way to St. John’s Community Care. By attending our Stress Busting class, their world started to change for the better. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Learning how Alzheimer’s affects the brain and how to handle a loved one’s confusion can have a positive impact on one’s caregiving abilities.

There are times when the individual living with  dementia may withdrawal or throw a fit. You may find yourself at a loss as to why this is happening and how to handle it. Families think the person is just being rude, uncaring, or even obstinate. The Savvy Caregiver program provides caregivers a way to explore their feelings, gain knowledge on dementias, and be enlightened on why their person experiences withdrawal or fits of anger. The program is designed to help the family caregiver feel more comfortable in their role as a caregiver. They will also to learn how to handle their spouse’s, parent’s, or relative’s state of confusion. This knowledge will provide contentment for both parties.

For those who have been experiencing memory loss or who recently have been diagnosed with a dementia, St. John’s has a program for you called Brain Wave. This program is meant to decrease depression and anxiety. Families have found that the program stabilizes their love one’s cognitive functioning while also increasing their coping skills. This is all accomplished by bringing together people with early memory loss into an environment that makes learning fun , led by trained Dementia Specialists.

If  you are experiencing some memory loss or are watching your loved one experience memory lapses and confusion, contact St. John’s Community Care for information on how to move forward. You can reach a trained Dementia Care Specialist at 618-344-5008 for answers to your questions on caregiving or how to better handle situations.

“It is not that you are not good enough. It is a big job, and you need to ask for help.”