If your parents or grandparents are diagnosed with dementia, your first thought will probably be, “How can I help?” According to the Alzheimer's Association, 16 million adult family members care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. You can be more confident in this demanding role if you know where to turn for help.
Here are six dementia care resources available to you if you live in or near Atlanta.
1. Piedmont Healthcare’s Sixty Plus Dementia Education and Support Program
This is a good place to start if you are new to the role of caregiver for a senior with a recent diagnosis of dementia.
You can attend one of the program’s workshops to get an overview of the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you and your loved one may face in dealing with dementia. Counselors can meet with you to create an individualized plan to target the resources that will be most helpful.
For more information, call the Sixty Plus Helpline at 404-605-3867.
Besides working to fund research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association has chapters throughout the community to educate and support seniors with dementia and their caregivers.
- Social Engagement Groups — There are several opportunities each month for seniors in the early stages of dementia to get together and socialize around Atlanta.
- Support Groups — The Alzheimer’s Association website has a search feature so that caregivers can find a nearby support group. The groups are led by trained facilitators; they meet monthly at several different locations throughout the Atlanta area.
- ALZConnected — If it is not convenient to attend a face-to-face group, this forum helps caregivers meet online to provide each other with support and resources. Seniors with dementia can also connect using this forum.
This is a collaboration between several organizations that share the goal of helping seniors — including those with dementia — with their increasing needs as they age. It’s a great place to find referrals to a wide variety of services including wellness services, social support, and transportation. Call 866-243-9355 to find out more.
This resource is provided by Jewish Family & Career Services to support all aging seniors and their families. Two of the programs offered, Music & Memory and the Brain Health Boot Camp, are designed specifically for those with dementia.
- Music & Memory — Inspired by the documentary “Alive Inside,” which shows the amazing effect music can have on people suffering from memory loss, playlists are personalized for each participant based on their age and musical tastes. Call 770-677-9411 for more information.
- Brain Health Boot Camp — These seminars help seniors with a recent dementia diagnosis to strengthen their minds with a combination of mental exercises, physical exercise, and socialization. To learn more, contact Georgia Gunter at 770-677-9421,
This program provides support for seniors both with and without dementia in order to give caregivers a break. The services it offers include help with chores, assistance with dressing and bathing, and companionship and supervision. Transportation to appointments can also be arranged. To find out more, call 404-463-3333.
This nonprofit, run by a group of churches and a synagogue, provides care for seniors with dementia so that their caregivers can have some time to themselves. The program operates three days a week from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road NE. To find out how to apply, visit its website.
Arbor Terrace at Cascade in Southwest Atlanta provides care that is specially designed for residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. When seniors join the Arbor Terrace community, friends and family members get the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved ones have the support they need. If you’d like to learn more about Arbor Terrace at Cascade, call us at 404-691-0304 to schedule a tour.