The Promise of a Better Tomorrow
When Mark and Sierra Goetz founded the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN), they did so with a vision of arming today’s spectrum of caregivers with hope, high-impact resources, and the promise of a better tomorrow.
One way they’re doing that is through HCAN’s new Family and Friends Dementia Education class – a high-touch approach designed to help family members and friends understand what to expect with dementia and how they can care for their loved ones and themselves.
“When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can be really scary, because there’s a lot of uncertainty. So, Linda Lundeen and I created this class,” said Sierra Goetz, director of operations at HCAN. “Dementia is an umbrella term – covering Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Loui Body dementia, and more. If you or someone you know has a loved one who’s received a dementia diagnosis, this class is for them.”
The class is two hours long and is offered in-person and via Zoom. It’s free to be available to everyone – not just families served through HCAN.
During the class, participants will learn about:
- The stages of dementia and the care that’s needed for each stage.
- Communication and how it should change with those who have dementia. For example, why it’s important to use short sentences. Following the “embrace the reality” model of communicating, there are three questions that you can ask your loved one that will save you stress.
- The important safety measures you should take in your home – and where to purchase items that can be helpful.
- Family dynamics and how they change when caring for someone with dementia.
- Decision-fatigue – what it is and how to overcome it.
- Respite care and how to work as a family unit to care for the loved one with dementia.
- Dementia research and additional resources are available in the community.
“I worked with Linda Lundeen, HCAN’s Care Advocate Success Trainer, to develop this class. My family experience led my drive. I had two family members with dementia – one had Alzheimer’s and one had Parkinson’s. Linda added to that with her 40 years of experience caring for seniors,” Goetz said. “It’s a high-touch class because we do a couple of activities, which makes it important to meet in person. We also find that people have a lot of questions, so being able to answer that face-to-face and establish a relationship is also important. There’s a lot of emotion – laughing about wonderful memories and also some tears about their reality has changed”
The free Family and Friends Dementia Education class will be offered through all HCAN franchise locations as well as through HCAN’s downstream partners, like Bickford Home Care and American Baptist Homes of the Midwest.
“Eventually I would like to see the class offered across the country,” Goetz said. “When you’re talking about the promise of a better tomorrow – there are things you can do with a loved one who has dementia that can make day-to-day living much easier, and there are things that can make it much more difficult. People need to know that.”
For information about future classes, visit the events page at hcanthrive.com.