Half of Bay Area residents over 85 are currently experiencing some form of dementia, and by 2020, the region is expected to see a 49% increase in residents with Alzheimer’s disease—not including other related conditions. With so many individuals and their families facing the challenges of these conditions, the need for dedicated local support has never been greater.
That’s why, one year ago, Seniors At Home launched the Center for Dementia Care and took a pioneering leap in enhanced support for people with Dementia-related conditions, and their families and caregivers.
Dementia deeply affects family members and caregivers. The Center for Dementia Care helps those with dementia live safely and with dignity by providing specialized in-home support along with education and behavioral intervention tools to help caregivers understand memory loss and engage more effectively with their loved one. All Seniors At Home caregivers are also given specialized training to assist to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
First year success
“In our first year of operation, the Center for Dementia Care has had an overwhelmingly positive response from clients across the five regions of the Bay Area where we work,” says Traci Dobronravova, Associate Director of Seniors At Home. “It’s clear that specialized support for dementia is wanted by our clients and we are so pleased to be able to help.”
Families report that they feel more confident communicating with their loved one with dementia and that the personal touch and expert assessment they received provided straightforward strategies that were easy to implement to make each day better for their loved one, and themselves.
Joanne, whose mother benefited from a Dementia Care Assessment says: “The visit was tremendous and the recommendations are very helpful and creative.”
Another client says, “Your suggestions are excellent! They are easy to follow and I have had immediate success.”
A personal approach
Symptoms of dementia vary greatly and the Center for Dementia Care provides each of our clients with an individualized care plan that supports quality of life, helps prevent fluctuations in mood and behavior and meets one-on-one with caregivers in a client’s home.
“Our approach to Dementia Care is based on identifying the strengths of the individual with memory loss as opposed to identifying ‘behaviors’,” says Andrea Korsunsky, Coordinator of Center for Dementia Care. “We start with what the person CAN do and develop the care plan from there.”
Dementia awareness and education
The Center is also making great strides toward providing education, information, and support to the community at large. Through the new educational program, ‘Dementia Awareness: A path for families,’ The Center for Dementia Care leads expert panels and group discussions to provide families with the resources, information, and support they will need to navigate their path. As the need for dementia education grows, these programs are made available to the community and are hosted in various locations throughout the bay area.
In the community
The Center for Dementia Care collaborates with local organizations to address the needs of the community and to influence systemic changes in care management for those with memory loss.
One such collaboration has been with the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Arts Café, which provides a welcoming space in which participants can connect to art and share experiences with others. On October 22nd, the Center for Dementia Care had a wonderful day bringing clients to the Contemporary Jewish Museum for a program that specifically focused on memory loss and on supporting a creative and therapeutic outlet. The Center for Dementia care is also working with the Arts Café to host a Dementia program this coming spring.
Looking to the future
In the coming year, the Center for Dementia Care plans to roll out a Dementia Tool Kit for families, caregivers, and volunteers who are caring for a person with dementia.
Traci Dobronravova says, “The Tool Kit will provide the practical information they need at their fingertips and activities to help them engage more meaningfully with a loved one who has dementia.” Seniors At Home staff will work directly with family members and caregivers on how to utilize the new tools.
The Center for Dementia Care’s future plans also include training volunteers as friends and advocates for Seniors At Home clients with dementia, partnering with other forward-thinking organizations and continuing to provide compassionate care to clients.
To learn more about the Center for Dementia Care or to schedule an appointment with its staff, call 415-449-3777.
If you would like to host a Dementia Awareness Event or learn more about upcoming events, please call:
- Michelle Javid (San Francisco and Marin Counties): 415-449-3721
- Joan Goldner (Peninsula): 650-688-3068
- Barbara Tobin (Sonoma County): 707-303-1510