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Memory Care Education: Become a More Informed Caregiver

By Reagan GreenwoodApril 28, 2022
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It’s no secret that caring for someone with dementia takes a unique set of skills. As a caregiver, it can be difficult to distinguish what type of care your loved one needs because dementia affects people in many different ways. Because of this, dementia caregivers, and the people in their care, often benefit from memory care education and training.

There are several benefits to educating yourself on memory care for dementia. Memory care education can help caregivers recognize the early signs of dementia and gain a firm understanding of how it specifically affects their loved one. These memory care education resources are available online and provide helpful information that can lead anyone to become a more effective and empathetic caregiver.


In this article:


Why caregivers need memory care education

When Jill Lorentz’s mother, Delores, started showing signs of dementia in the early 1990s, Lorentz took it upon herself to learn more about memory loss. Lorentz explained that she wanted to understand what was happening to her mom so that she could become a helpful resource for her family.

While researching and caring for her mother, Lorentz learned more about the unique challenges family caregivers experience when caring for a loved one with dementia. She then made it her life’s mission to not only understand Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, but to help other families successfully navigate the caregiving journey.

She started Summit Resilience Training, where she now provides hands-on training for family caregivers. Through this course, Lorentz educates people about the different types of dementia, how the disease affects the brain, and the tailored, person-centered care techniques that should be utilized while caregiving.

Lorentz explained that when a person fully understands the disease and why dementia patients act the way they do, caregivers are able to become more compassionate and empathetic, which ultimately leads to a better relationship with their loved one and a lower risk of caregiver burnout.

Memory care education resources

Fortunately, there are a variety of educational resources available for family caregivers.

Memory care articles

Educating yourself about dementia and proper memory care techniques can be a daunting task. That’s why A Place for Mom offers many memory care resources, making it easier for you to figure out what you’re looking for. Begin your memory care education journey by reading some additional articles:

Online resources

For family caregivers who would like education beyond research articles, the following online resources may be beneficial:

Memory care training and certification

While online resources, articles, and podcasts serve as excellent starting points, you may decide to become a professional, state-certified caregiver. Some of the most popular online memory care training and certification courses include:

Some organizations even offer in-person classes and seminars, so be sure to check for options available in your area. Typically, memory care training courses cover the following topics:

Though professional and state certifications aren’t very expensive, it’s still hard to know whether they’re worth you and your loved one’s time and money. The following articles can help you decide whether professional training via state certification would be beneficial for both you and your loved one:

Memory care caregivers look out for themselves, too

In addition to learning effective caregiving techniques, caregivers should also take time to support themselves:

  • Join a support group or caregivers forum.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.
  • Take some time to yourself through respite care options.

Whether you need to take a break, practice your favorite hobbies, or socialize with friends outside of the house, dedicating time to rest and care for yourself can improve your overall well-being — which can ultimately benefit the health and safety of the person in your care.

Caring for someone with dementia can be demanding. But, if you research and understand dementia, take advantage of available educational resources, and reach out when you need help, you can quickly become a more compassionate, patient, and effective caregiver.

Understand your options

It’s also important to remember that dementia is progressive, meaning it may worsen over time. If there comes a time when you can no longer provide the best care possible to your aging loved one, consider a memory care community for their long-term care. Or, if you are only in need of a little respite, short-term care options are also available, including adult day care, respite care, and in-home care. These services may provide you with enough relief to continue to effectively care for your loved one in the long term.

Reach out to a Senior Living Advisor at A Place for Mom for free, local advice on the senior care options in your area. These advisors can get you in touch with educated, professional caregivers in your area who are ready to help.

Sources:

Lorentz, J. (2022, March 11). Personal communication [Phone interview].

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal, or financial advice or to create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney, or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter, and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not endorse the contents of the third-party sites.

Author
Reagan Greenwood

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