On October 12, members from the Putnam County Alzheimer’s Association visited Putnam Ridge for a Caregiver Conversation course that was open to family members and professionals. Informative information was shared about having an open conversation about loved ones with memory loss about when to stop driving, doctor visits, legal and financial plans, and behaviors. When it comes to driving, plan ahead before an accident occurs. Talk about noticing ability changes and explain the need for safety. Offer alternatives for transportation and seek support from professionals as part of the conversation. When it comes to doctor visits, use words that are most comfortable for the person. Suggest a wellness visit, or pair the medical visit with a more enjoyable outing. Invite other family members to communicate concerns and ask questions to the doctors. Remember that empathy and respect is the best approach and let the loved one know they have a say in what is happening to them. Help them understand that changes are occurring, however, talk about how they feel rather than the disease. Making financial and legal plans may involve gathering documents. It helps to break up the task of collecting information into smaller, manageable parts. Focus on getting the task done rather than the emotional part of estate planning. For more information about the course, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org
Visit Putnam Ridge at putnamridge.com or call 845-278-3636.