It's frightening to care for someone you don't understand. People living with dementia (PLWD) are themselves often filled with fear and anxiety and express themselves in ways that are difficult for others to comprehend. For a family member or professional who is helping persons who are themselves trying to cope with the cognitive changes going on in their brains, it is a domino effect that carries over to care partners. Fear, anxiety, guilt, and feeling very frustrated in not having the tools to better communicate and respond to stress reactions leave caregivers feeling helpless.
It's no surprise that the long term care sector has experienced declining occupancy and census due to COVID-19. The best marketing and sales efforts couldn't compete with a worldwide pandemic. But the tide is turning and if we've learned anything during this time -is that creativity is king, education is powerful and experiences change how people think, feel and act (because we've been missing these!). Dementia education and awareness is critically needed in our communities. Let's talk about how we can bridge dementia staff training with meeting marketing and sales goals by providing a solution to the pent-up demand for impactful dementia education from our local communities.
The National Institute on Aging states, "abuse can happen to anyone-no matter the person's age, sex, race, religion, or ethnic or cultural background. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. This is called elder abuse.
The toll of COVID induced loneliness and isolation on our elders is still in research phase and will be for some time to come. Caregivers, too, have carried a heavy burden. Professional and family caregivers have endured equal if not greater effects of this long running pandemic. In addition to the fears surrounding the virus itself, as studies are released, we will be able to capture just how deep and wide the emotional burden has been to those caring for PLWD (persons living with dementia).