Dementia education for caregivers

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On this page, learn what educational opportunities the Alzheimer Society of Oxford offers to caregivers.

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The First Link® Learning Series

The First Link® Learning Series is made up of five distinct courses that are progressive in nature. Each course builds upon the other to provide participants with a comprehensive overview of dementia, coping strategies, resources and support systems. These courses are facilitated by staff of the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.

For more information about the First Link® Learning Series or to register for an upcoming workshop, please contact our office at 519-421-2466.

First Steps

While receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be devastating, it may also bring a sense of relief at finally being able to put a name to the symptoms you have been experiencing.

Nevertheless, it can be hard to know what to do first; you likely have a lot of questions. Getting the information and support you need can help you take charge of your condition.

1. Recognize that you are going through a variety of emotions

You might feel angry, embarrassed, frustrated, afraid or sad. These emotions are normal and may come and go.

2. Tell people

Sharing this information will help them understand the difficulties you are having as a result of the disease.

3. Learn about Alzheimer’s disease

Find out what you can about the disease and how it will progress. Learn about tips and strategies that might help you day to day.

4. Explore treatment options

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, medications can help some people with some of the symptoms.

5. Recognize that you have a disease that affects your abilities

Focus on what you can do, not what you can't do and find ways that help you cope with the changes.

6. Seek help

Call your local Alzheimer Society to find out what services are available in providing practical assistance.

7. Look for support

Find people you are comfortable with to share your feelings and emotions.

8. Plan for the future

Start planning for the future and take charge of your condition.

9. Take care of yourself

Maintain your physical health, stay active, make healthy food choices and spend time with your family and friends. Enjoy life to the fullest.

10. Know the Alzheimer Society is here to help

The Alzheimer Society has information and support programs to help you.

We Will Talk About:

The five courses that make up the learning series are:

  • First Steps for persons with dementia and their family
  • Next Steps for families and friends
  • Care Essentials
  • Options for Care
  • Care in the Later Stages

Next Steps for families and friends

This series will offer family members and friends caring for persons with dementia an overview of dementia. Topics covered in this course include:

  • What is dementia?
  • Memory loss and changes to the brain
  • Coping strategies
  • Drugs and treatments
  • Future planning
  • Community resources

Care Essentials

This series will offer family members and friends caring for persons with dementia problem solving strategies, approaches for communications and available avenues for support, all of which can strengthen their ability to provide care. Topics covered in this course include:

  • Progression of dementia
  • Understanding behaviour
  • Day-to-day care
  • Community resources

Options for Care

This series is to help family members and friends caring for people with dementia evaluate their current care giving needs and explore other possible care options available, including long-term care. Topics covered in this course include:

  • Where to turn when care needs are increasing
  • Long-term care – how the system works
  • Coping with change – how to make the transition

Care in the Later Stages

This series is to help family members and friends of persons with dementia understand what to expect in the later stages of the disease. The series will explore how participants can provide comfort to the person as well as review the experiences of grief and loss. Topics covered in this course include:

  • Natural course of the later stages
  • How to recognize pain and distress
  • How to provide care that promotes dignity, comfort and quality of life

Ambiguous Loss & Grief
Ambiguous Loss & Grief is a free 3 week workshop for care partners of someone living with dementia. This program aims to help care partners develop a better understanding of their grief and explore strategies for managing grief and loss.

We will explore:

  • What is grief?
  • Types of grief
  • Recognizing losses
  • Guilt and liberating losses
  • What is grief-work
  • Self-care
  • Recognizing the circle of support

Life After Dementia
Life After Dementia is currently being offered in two virtual sessions, via Zoom (video call or phone in). The first session discusses styles of grieving and the intense emotions that accompany the loss of a person who was living with dementia. The second session discusses secondary losses that follow the death of a person who as living with dementia, as well as ways to build a circle of support and prioritize self-care after they are gone.
For more information or to register please contact the Alzheimer Society of Oxford at 1-877-594-2368 or [email protected]