Local resources for families affected by Alzheimer's disease

An estimated 230,000 Ohioans are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and that number is unfortunately rising. As our senior adult population grows, so does the number of families affected by this disease. Statistics are only statistics though, when they apply to someone else. What happens when one of our Heights-area families becomes one of those statistics? Where can we turn for local, reliable, caring help?

The Cleveland Chapter of The Alzheimer’s Association (AA), located in Beachwood, offers many helpful services to families living with Alzheimer’s, including family education, caregiver coaching, and referral services. The AA holds family support groups in Beachwood and Lyndhurst on the second Thursday of every month.

The Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging (WRAAA), located downtown, has a Family Caregiver Support Program that provides support groups and referrals. The University Memory and Aging Center at University Hospitals (UH) offers services through the Elder Health Clinic in Cleveland and the Foley ElderHealth Center in Beachwood. AD patients are assessed and monitored by experienced neurologists and geriatric physicians. They also offer referrals and caregiver support groups.

When round-the-clock care becomes necessary, there are local companies that can help. Homewatch CareGivers, located in Beachwood, trains caregivers in the special care required by those with AD, and offers this training to family members. Homewatch CareGivers offers a “Pathways to Memory” program in which a specially-trained caregiver guides your loved one through memory activities that help support cognitive abilities and independence for as long as possible. Jodi Spiegel said of Homewatch, “This is a wonderful memory-enhancing program that enables our clients to gain confidence and maintain their independence.”

Adult day care centers are another option for care. St. Anthony Adult Day Center in Euclid and Jennings Center for Older Adults in Garfield Heights provide life-enriching services for those with AD. If home care and day care are not viable options, there are several group residences that offer AD care. Homewood Residence in Cleveland Heights and Richmond Heights, The Woodlands in Shaker Heights, Governor’s Village in Mayfield Village, and Montefiore and Park East Care in Beachwood are local residences offering specialized care.

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, reach out for help, not only for them, but also for yourself. Ashley Hill of Homewatch CareGivers said, “Alzheimer’s disease affects the entire family, not just the person suffering from it.” You can reach the resources listed above at the following numbers: WRAAA (216-621-8010), AA (216-721-8457), AA 24/7 hotline (800-272-3900), UH (216-844-6400), Homewatch CareGivers (216-593-0120).

Judith Eugene

Judith Eugene is a native of Cleveland Heights who provides services to senior adults and those with mobility challenges through www.LovingHandsGroup.com. She can be reached at 216-408-5578 or Judith@LovingHandsGroup.com

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 2:44 PM, 04.18.2011