The toll on families and individuals caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be life-changing. We often hear from family caregivers about the impact Alzheimer’s disease has on their lives and their need for support.
More than five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, it is estimated that there will be 35,000 patients in Hawai‘i older than 65 with Alzheimer’s and other related diseases (ADRD). With our rapidly aging senior population, more information and awareness about this chronic illness will be needed.
“Increasing public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease is an important goal of care providers,” said Wesley Chang, chief administrative officer of Attention Plus Care. “Fear and stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease can prevent individuals from seeking help. Information and education can change that and make a positive difference.”
“By efficiently mobilizing clinical resources, family members can better assist those living with chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s to achieve and maintain a level of independence and quality of life,” Cynthia Baker, BSN, RN, recently explained in a workshop for seniors and caregivers. “Licensed home health agencies can provide skilled nursing and therapeutic services, helping ku¯puna to remain at home safely and avoid preventable hospitalizations.”
With ongoing collaboration, experience in teaching and care coordination, home health providers are valuable team members in the care of ADRD, and especially helpful with transitions between care settings.
“The Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter exists to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health,” said Pamela Ah-Nee, program specialist at the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter. “We are grateful to partner with care providers who provide safe and reliable care for our loved ones living with dementia-related illness.”
To improve the management of ADRD, Hawai‘i care providers partner with support groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter. Together they work to conduct education and public awareness campaigns to focus on early and accurate diagnosis, risk factors, warning signs, brain health, difficult behaviors and the importance of advance care planning and caregiver coping strategies.
“Age is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, so the earlier we start understanding the illness, the better,” added Chang.
ATTENTION PLUS CARE Accredited by The Joint Commission 1580 Makaloa St., Ste. #1060, Honolulu, HI 96814 808-739-2811 | www.attentionplus.com
AGING IN HAWAII EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAM by Attention Plus Care – a program to provide resources for seniors and their families, instructed by a registered nurse, who covers a different aging topic each month.
For class information on Alzheimer’s disease and upcoming topics, contact 808-440-9372.