An innovative educational program starting in early March will help caregiving family members deal with loss and grief issues associated with dementia.
“The dementia journey requires ongoing adjustment to many changes over a long period of time that result in feelings of loss,” explains project leader Dr. Penny MacCourt, from the Centre on Aging at University of Victoria. “You are witnessing the progression of your family member’s dementia. The progression results in many changes: in your relationship, in shared activities, in roles and responsibilities, in dreams and plans for the future, and in living circumstances, to name just a few.”
The new Coping with Transitions program will connect residents with a skilled registered coach with extensive knowledge and experience in counselling caregivers of people with a dementia.
Coaching is being offered in personal online and telephone formats, for both individuals and groups. Individual sessions – for in-person or over the phone – will be scheduled independently.
There is also the choice of phone or online groups, which provide convenience, easy access, and full anonymity and confidentiality. Participants gain the added benefit of working with, and learning from, others.
Interested participants must pre-register for the program by contacting MacCourt at 1-877-244-0419. She will explain the research project, answer any questions, and provide assessment forms that are required before the first meeting.
Coping with Transitions aims to identify tools and strategies for weathering the losses and provide a greater number of options for caregivers to better meet their needs.
Increased access to support will benefit families and may delay the need for placement for their family members with dementia, says MacCourt.
The program is supported by the Alzheimer Society of B.C.