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Plan helps families with long-distance caregiving

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

“It is important to develop a plan of action,” says 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, she says, 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,” says Hope.

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

Caregivers should identify local services needed and make appointments with service 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 says caregivers should divide the responsibilities of care with other family members, whenever possible. Then communicate regularly with all individuals who are helping with the person with dementia’s 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 Campbell River.  They take place on the first Thursday night of each month. Contact Hope toll-free at 1-800-462-2833 or email 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. www.alzheimerbc.org

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