RANCHO SANTA FE — In an effort to raise awareness, Alzheimer’s San Diego recently visited the Rancho Santa Fe Library to help those touched by the disease learn some valuable information.
Leading the presentation was Amy Abrams, MSW, who serves as the education and outreach manager at Alzheimer’s San Diego.
During the presentation, Abrams touched upon the symptoms of the disease as well as its progression.
The lecture was helpful for caregivers and family members who have loved ones that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Abrams pointed out effective communication techniques for caregivers when their loved one is losing their language or other forms of communication. Another level of the discussion focused on the most common triggers for behaviors changes.
And adapting to that changing environment was part of the discussion in terms of how to respond to agitation, confusion, frustration and disorientation.
When it comes to challenging behavior, Abrams said, there is an importance in recognizing the emotion behind what the person is trying to communicate.
“When a person is confused and disoriented, what we need to do in that moment with them is connect to the emotion that they’re expressing to us,” she said. “First acknowledge it and then redirect it to something more productive or a more soothing behavior.”
Alzheimer’s San Diego has partnered with the Rancho Santa Fe Library as well as the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center in bringing knowledge and helpful strategies to caregivers and family members. Their message is clear in that caregivers have access to support though all stages of the disease.
According to Abrams, she happily sees familiar faces attending the lectures as well as new ones who are aware of their organization. The locale of their presentations is also highly convenient to those living in the Ranch or nearby communities.
Abrams said the goal of Alzheimer’s San Diego is to bring help through education and teaching various aspects about the disease. And that includes knowing how to lower one’s risks and understanding the signs and symptoms of the disease.
The organization offers an array of resources and information as well as support for the caregiver.
“Getting information out all over San Diego County is the real mission,” Abrams said. “We’re based in Kearny Mesa and I know that getting to our office in Kearny Mesa is just not workable for everyone.”
Understanding the needs of caregivers, including their busy schedules, Alzheimer’s San Diego does its best to bring support and information to those who live in the county.
“We have a small staff to cover San Diego and get the education out where we can so we really appreciate the library’s partnership,” she said. “We are a local, independent organization.”
To learn more about Alzheimer’s San Diego, Abrams invites those interested to visit alzsd.org or call (858) 492-4400. Alzheimer’s San Diego also offers a complimentary consultation with an expert who understands the disease.