Archived Story

Council on Aging: Memory loss stressful for all

Published 11:50pm Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Studies show that adults with early signs of dementia can slow the progression of memory loss by maintaining active lives in programs like Adult Day Services at the Cass County Council on Aging.

With this program, older adults with dementia have a safe, healthy and productive place to stay during the day while their families and caregivers are working or attending to other responsibilities or simply taking care of themselves.

“The stress is incredible for families,” said Suzanne Beurmann, director of Respite Care at the COA. “Caring for someone with memory loss or dementia can be a 24/7 job.”

Adult Day Services provides a home away from home, with trained staff including registered nurses, and some dedicated volunteers. Participants can choose their activities, whether they enjoy board games, arts and crafts, cooking, exercise and even video games.

Keeping people healthy and happy is one of the program’s main goals. Beurmann says that adjusting to Adult Day Services can be made easier if individuals are enrolled early.

“It’s difficult to know when to ask for help,” Beurmann said. “But we encourage families to get help before the stress becomes too much.”

Adult Day Services customers can attend up to five days each week, depending on their needs. Many families find that just a few days each week can help. Transportation is also available for those who need it.

Families and caregivers who want more information on this program can call the Council on Aging at (269) 445-8110 to arrange for Beurmann or another staff member to visit their home to discuss options.

In addition to the Adult Day Services program, Beurmann also leads the monthly support group for families dealing with dementia.

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