Community Counts: How Local Resources Support the Families of People Experiencing Memory Loss

If your loved one is experiencing memory loss, you’re likely familiar with the significant challenges this condition presents—things about them that have always been familiar to you may be changing, and their needs can be different from one day to the next. As the disease progresses, you might feel isolated and overwhelmed by the support that’s required. You don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Many community resources are available to offer support and guidance for both you and your loved one.

senior with caregiver

1. Memory clinics

Memory clinics are specialized centers offering comprehensive assessment and diagnosis for people with memory loss. They not only provide medical evaluations but often connect patients and their families to valuable resources, such as counseling and support groups.

2. Adult day care centers

These facilities offer programs for people with dementia during the day, allowing their caregivers some respite. They provide therapeutic activities designed specifically for those with cognitive impairments, fostering a sense of purpose and community among attendees. L’Chaim Adult Day Health Center in San Francisco, Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center in Mountain View, Rosener House in Menlo Park, and Catholic Charities in San Carlos all offer day services. AgeWell PACE has adult day health care, and the Hummingbird Project offers activities throughout the Bay Area.

3. Support groups

Support groups cater to people experiencing memory loss as well as their caregivers. They offer an environment to share experiences, learn coping mechanisms, and find emotional support from others who understand the unique challenges of caregiving. Seniors At Home offers online support groups for family caregivers twice a week.

For individuals who don’t require residential care but are in need of some assistance at home, home care services are invaluable. Seniors At Home caregivers can assist with daily needs such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.

Care managers can advocate on a client’s behalf, support families with questions regarding day-to-day care, and help navigate the healthcare system to provide peace of mind. Seniors At Home’s Center for Dementia Care offers particular expertise for individuals experiencing memory loss, offering neurological consultations as well as trained caregivers to provide companionship and advice on activities of daily living.

6. Educational workshops

Understanding dementia is vital for effective care. Many organizations offer workshops to educate families and caregivers on the progression of the disease, effective communication strategies, and managing challenging behaviors. Dr. Catherine Madison, neurologist for Seniors At Home, conducts educational workshops and memory screenings in the Bay Area.

7. Legal and financial counseling

Navigating the legal and financial implications of dementia is challenging. Many community organizations offer advice on drafting wills, setting up power of attorney, understanding insurance policies, and planning for future care costs. Silver Bills, Tsunami Enterprises, and the Marin Bookkeepers Network offer these services. JFCS’ Fiduciary Services also offers excellent support.

8. Websites, apps, and helplines

Many websites, apps, and helplines have emerged to provide information, support, and guidance for those impacted by dementia. They can connect individuals to local resources, offer advice, or simply lend a listening ear in times of need. The Alzheimer’s Association is an excellent resource for training and education and offers a 24/7 hour helpline, and the Friendship Line provides crisis intervention and non-emergency support for older adults.

9. Assisted living and memory care facilities

When home care becomes untenable, there are specialized living facilities designed for those with dementia. These establishments offer 24/7 care in an environment designed to be safe, engaging, and comforting for residents. Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco is a wonderful community that provides this care.

Memory loss undeniably brings changes, but with the right community resources, it’s possible to maintain quality of life and ensure that both the individual affected and their caregivers feel supported. Community resources play an important role in in managing the challenges of dementia and fostering understanding, inclusion, and holistic support.

Remember, we’re all in this together. Seniors At Home is here to support you through this journey. A comprehensive list of other resources is available here. Please reach out if we can help support you.