PLATSBURGH – The Clinton County Office for Aging is hosting a training session for caregivers with Lindsay Stanislowsky of the Alzheimer’s Association on December 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Participants can access the Zoom session by computer or by phone.
“We are a resource center for natural caregivers” Sally Whitman, a case manager with the Office of Aging, said.
âAs part of what we provide to caregivers is education and support, so that kind of fills the educational element where we try to have a variety of speakers on different topics that would be important to the caregiver. caregivers and certainly dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is great. So, I look forward to what she has to say.
Differences in diseases
Stanislowsky’s hour-long program will be offered through Zoom and will explain the basics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
A lot of people don’t know there is a difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, âStanislowsky said.
âThis is the most common question asked of us as staff. Many people use the words Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably. So we’re going to focus on that and the program, the staging. “
In the United States alone, more than 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and 16 million are their unpaid caregivers.
The disease is a global crisis affecting many families right here in our community. However, no one should face this disease alone or without information.
“We don’t have county specific data, but I can tell you that over 400,000 people in New York State have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.” said Stanislowsky.
The Alzheimer’s Association has created an education program covering the basics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in order to provide a general overview for those facing a diagnosis as well as those who wish to be informed.
Free hour “Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia” program:
Impact on the family
The disease affects family members, who are often caregivers and are under even more stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The isolation, the lack of stimulation and the lack of socialization are just terrible for our brain” said Stanislowsky.
âIsolation is terrible for caregivers and then for those with a diagnosis. They’re just the ones trying to deal with COVID and what’s going on. COVID has been terrible.
âA lot of adult day programs have closed because of COVID. So any stimulation or activity that people diagnosed were previously receiving, that routine has been taken away from them because the day programs are closing. It’s just bad.
The Alzheimer’s Association helpline is open 24/7 and can be reached at 800-272-3900.
âIt’s just master’s level clinicians answering the phone and helping in crisis mode and things like that. “ said Stanislowsky.
Whitman recognizes that it is difficult to get participants to attend Zoom sessions.
âBecause caregivers are busy people and it’s hard to get them to take time out of their busy day. “ she said.
âBut we’re just going to continue to offer and try to get people to attend these events. Then there is a pandemic so nothing can be done in person.
âNot everyone is computer savvy, but it’s the way of the world these days. You don’t need to have a computer to do this, because if you are not able to Zoom, you can just call. We try to be as low-tech as possible.
The Caregiver Resource Center strives to support caregivers in any way possible.
“Because it’s so important” Whitman said.
âIt’s funny because a lot of people don’t even recognize that they are caregivers. I speak with them and I say: “Well, are you taking your mom to her doctor’s appointment. Yes. Are you balancing his checkbook? Yes. Do you do her shopping? Yes. I am like you are a caregiver. âIt’s funny. It’s almost like there is a negative connotation to the word. I don’t know why or the reality of the responsibility that entails because it’s a lot.
âDepending on the family dynamic, there may be many children, but usually there is only one doing the job. “
For more information or to register, call the Clinton County Office for the Aging at 518-565-4620 or email: [email protected]