January is National Mental Health Month and at Advantage Living Centers (ALC) we take a holistic approach to caring for and supporting our residents who have mental health diagnoses. Most people think of Mental Health as depression or anxiety, but Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is a significant Mental Health condition that effects more than 5 million Americans today. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.
In response to the need for quality care for people with Dementia, Advantage Living Centers has taken steps to expand Memory Care programming, which offers the public high quality care givers and programming designed to support individuals throughout the Dementia process. Team members working with our residents are Certified Dementia Practitioners (CDP) with ongoing education through the CARES online training program.
What does this mean for you and your loved one? This means you have a quality option to help you through the disease process. Whether you need a support group, short term respite or long term placement, Advantage is ready to be your partner in care. At Advantage Living Centers we work closely with the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter, participating in walks, raising funds and offering continuing education courses internally and to the public. We find it incredibly important to keep ourselves as well as our staff educated on all stages of the disease.
It is important to know the warning signs of the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, the disease often develops years before it is outwardly noticeable. Individuals with Dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, will often seem fine and symptom free on the outside, but on the inside toxic changes are taking place. Signs of early on-set Alzheimer’s can begin as early as 30s years old to mid-60s.
Overall, tell tale signs of Alzheimer’s can include, memory loss, repeating questions, trouble handling bills, wandering and getting lost, problems recognizing family and friends, to name a few. So now you’re asking yourself, what’s next? Although our hopes are high for the future, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. On the bright side, there is an ever-growing population of individuals and researchers who devote their working lives to helping residents and their families live with this disease. Currently, the approach to helping cope with Alzheimer’s is assisting people to maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms and slow down the disease process. There are several drugs available to help manage Alzheimer’s, but the absolute best therapy starts with family and loved ones. Know the warning signs, seek help and stay educated.
Discovering or dealing with Alzheimer’s may not be easy. We are here to help. As stated earlier Advantage Living Centers is committed to a future with state of the art memory care units in our facilities. We are also proud to offer Alzheimer Support Groups, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, at three of our facilities in Battle Creek, Redford and Armada. Everyone is welcome and we would be honored to partner with you to support you and your family in this journey.