The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana came out to Residences at Deer Creek in Schererville for a presentation in the free Dementia Education Series for Caregivers, Dinner and Dementia.
Caregivers, spouses and those who know of someone with Dementia were invited to enjoy an elegant dinner and dessert provided by Residences of Deer Creek and a presentation on “What You Need to Know About Alzheimer’s and Dementia” by Debbie Carriveu, RN. C Director at the Institute for Excellence in Memory Care.
The Dinner and Dementia event’s purpose was to give caregivers and loved ones a night out to themselves, to treat themselves and learn how to better take care of their love ones with Dementia.
Melissa Huffman, Director of Sales and Marketing at Residences of Deer Creek, said that events like this allows people to visit facilities with memory support neighborhoods and take a tour without the pressure, in a relaxing environment. It also helps get rid of the stigma of nursing facilities.
Events like these also provide extra support to family members, especially those who may have loved ones at Residences at Deer Creek. “Our support for the family members of our memory care residents is just as important as the care we provide to the residents. When someone with Dementia, moves in their room may pretty similar than what they had had home or the family tries to simulate that. And the residents adjust just fine.” said Huffman.
“Then the families go home and they have to process going home alone or leaving their loved one. There may be a great deal of guilt, mixed feelings or mixed emotions. So, we really have to be a support to the families.” she continued.
Leona Bachan, Community Relations Coordinator, got involved with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana after her nephew who has down syndrome. Bachan learned that those with down syndrome have a risk of getting Alzheimer’s.
Bachan says that her mission in life is to “educate people as to what may come down the road so they will be prepared and not struggle with it more than they have to.”
Hilda Johnson brought her two daughters Cheryl Marshall and Robin Downs to the presentation to enjoy a night out and learn.
“We came with the hopes of learning some information about Alzheimer’s. We are confident we won’t need that information for use for a family member, but it will be good to have.” said Robin Downs.
Her mother Hilda Johnson said “I wanted to introduce my daughters, who may have to take care of me one day if something should happen. I want them to be made aware of all the information.”
The speaker, Debbie Carriveu, gave caregivers a lot of helpful tips and hints in regards to Dementia and tried to help them understand why people with Dementia do the things they do and how to react or not to react.
Carriveu hopes that caregivers come out of the presentation better understanding their loved ones with Dementia and that they “live in a different reality than we do and trying to argue and force people to come back to the here and now and be in our reality is probably one of the most traumatic things you can do.”
Carriveu answered questions about how Dementia develops, progresses and how caregivers should react to those progressions. “The more you do for them, the more they lose.” she said.
Caregivers should let their loved ones continue to do what they can for themselves even if it takes longer. Taking that action away from them, just to do it faster or to try and help them, causes the disease to progress faster and they will lose the ability to do that action for themselves.
Those interested in learning more about Dementia, can attend one of the many upcoming Dinner and Dementia programs at other facilities in the area. The next program will be held at Cedar Creek Health Campus in Lowell on August 30. Learn more about it here.