When people hear “dementia,” they often think “Alzheimer’s disease.” But Alzheimer’s is only one type of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is a term used to describe a number of conditions marked by memory loss, as well as a decline in language and problem-solving skills that support a person’s quality of life.
Adult children of seniors need to be on the lookout for signs of dementia. Do your parents pause or seem lost in the middle of conversations? Are they paying bills late, or not at all? Have they stopped bathing regularly or keeping their home clean?
If you live in or near Canton, Georgia, there’s a variety of dementia care resources available for you and your loved ones.
- The Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association sponsors a group led by trained facilitators that’s designed specifically for seniors with dementia, their families, and their caregivers. It is held the second Friday of every month at the Canton Senior Center at 1001 Univeter Road. Contact Sharon Markman for more information.
- Hickory Flat United Methodist Church in Canton hosts a group on the fourth Monday of every month at 10 a.m. Contact Barbara Allen at 770-855-6765 for more information.
- Little River United Methodist Church in Woodstock hosts its Caring for the Caregivers group on the third Thursday of every month at 11 a.m. Contact Fritz Kupsky at 678-471-6676 for more information.
- ALZConnected is an online forum for dementia patients and caregivers sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Ways to Stay Active
Studies by the National Institutes of Health show that staying active and continuing to socialize are two of the best ways to slow the progress of dementia.
A visit to the Canton Senior Center can help Cherokee County seniors ages 60 and older make new friends and encourage them to exercise. The center offers:
- Card games, board games, puzzles, and dominoes every day
- Weekly activities including bingo and music classes
- Exercise classes including chair yoga and Zumba Gold
- Lunch served daily
- Low-cost transportation is available
Located at 1001 Univeter Road, it’s open weekdays 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and can be reached by phone at 770-345-2675.
Get Help Around the House
Because dementia worsens with time, aging seniors tend to need more help with the tasks of daily living as it progresses.
- Comfort Keepers offers in-home support for seniors who are living with dementia in the Canton area. Available services include help with housework, meal preparation, transportation, and round-the-clock care. Caregivers are trained to specifically handle situations that can arise when dealing with dementia patients. To find out more about these services or to schedule a personal evaluation, call 770-232-6336
- Cherokee County Senior Services provides a wide range of helpful services for seniors with dementia including:
- Meals on Wheels
- Transportation services
- Homemaker Services, a program that takes care of basic housekeeping needs, the cost of which is set on a sliding scale based on income
Call 770-345-5320 to find out more about these and other programs.
Care for Caregivers
Caring for dementia patients is a demanding job, and it’s important for caregivers to take regular breaks.
Adult day care centers are a way for caregivers to find time to recharge their batteries.
Lotus Adult Day Center, located in nearby Woodstock, provides seniors with stimulating activities including memory games, crafts, and light exercise. Staff members are trained in the best way to care for the needs of seniors with dementia.
Even with all the dementia care resources available, there may come a time when your loved ones can no longer remain in their homes. They may need to move into a community like The Arbor at BridgeMill in Canton, which offers a dementia care neighborhood designed specifically for the needs of residents with dementia.
If you’d like to find out more about what The Arbor at BridgeMill has to offer or arrange a tour, call 770-691-0022.