Personal action plan assists with long-distance caregiving

Caring for a person with dementia from a long distance presents many challenges for Nanaimo residents.

  • Oct. 7, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Caring for a person with dementia from a long distance presents many challenges for Nanaimo residents.

“It is important to develop a plan of action,” said Jane Hope, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s regional support and education coordinator.

Caregivers should take some basic steps before visiting the person with dementia, to create a plan that best meets their loved one’s needs.

“Talk to family members, friends, neighbours, their physician, health agencies and other people who are in contact with the person,” said Hope.

The society’s brochure, Assessing the Needs of the Person with Dementia, is an easy guide and is available online at www.alzheimerbc.org.

Caregivers should identify services needed and make appointments with local care providers.

Communicate clearly what you are hoping to achieve. Be prepared with questions you would like to have answered, and the services you are seeking. If possible, send an e-mail prior to the appointment.

Hope said caregivers should divide the responsibilities of care with other family members whenever possible. Then communicate regularly with all individuals helping with the care.

More suggestions and information on long-distance caregiving are available at the free monthly meetings of the society’s family caregiver support group in Nanaimo.

Meetings take place the second Thursday of each month. Please contact Hope at 250-734-4170 or e-mail jhope@alzheimerbc.org for more details.

The support group serves as a place to exchange information, support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.

A forum for sharing practical tips and strategies for coping with the many changes connected with the disease, it also provides an opportunity to decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness, and to find a positive outlook on things without being misunderstood.