F.A.I.R. Alzheimer’s & Dementia Program in McDowell County, WV
In-Home Socialization and Stimulation for Patients
Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite (F.A.I.R.) is a program that was designed to provide care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. This service provides stimulation and socialization for the person with dementia, while giving the caregiver a break. Remaining socially active and maintaining adequate mental stimulation throughout life are important components of brain health. For our clients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, social interaction and stimulation are particularly essential. Unfortunately, these areas tend to be neglected as a result of the effects of the disease process, resulting in a rapid decline in memory, thought process, and behavioral control. Many individuals with Alzheimer’s eventually develop difficulties related to effective communication and responding properly to social situations, which further compounds the difficulties involved in remaining socially active. Our goal is to offer alternatives that benefit the client, as well as family members.
Stimulating Home Activities for Alzheimer’s Patients
Our trained caregivers offer a variety of stimulating activities for our clients with Alzheimer’s and related dementia through the F.A.I.R. Program. By offering a variety of activities that the individual enjoyed prior to diagnosis, life quality and connections can be maintained during the early stages of the disease. Behavioral changes, including increased irritability and anxiety, may make certain hobbies and interests too overwhelming for the individual, and the activities may require modification. The McDowell County Commission on Aging recommends that a variety of activities be offered for our clients to determine which may enhance their life quality at the present time. Some of the activities that may be offered include arts and crafts projects, simple painting, gardening, arousing the senses, working on puzzles, watching old family videos, eating familiar foods, taking a short walk, reading favorite books together, cleaning, and organizational tasks. Input from family members is helpful to determine which activities may be most appropriate for the individual.
Home Socialization Throughout the Stages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, we encourage our clients to maintain engagement in social activities as much as possible. It is important to listen to our clients and gain feedback based on their responses. As Alzheimer’s and dementia progress, the individual’s ability to communicate tends to decline, often to the point of being unable to talk or otherwise communicate effectively. We strive to offer those affected with alternative means of communication to maintain their self-esteem, positive mood, and sense of overall well-being. Looking at photos and artwork or listening to music together allows for a shared experience, and may even elicit a smile. The compassionate caregivers at the McDowell County Commission on Aging work with each client in our F.A.I.R. Program to make each moment count.
Resources for Alzheimer and Dementia Patients
- 10 Ways to Manage Stress and Be a Healthy Caregiver
- 10 Ways to Love Your Brain
- Know the 10 Signs – Early Detection Matters
- Alzheimer’s Statistics West Virginia
- 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
Contact the McDowell County Commission on Aging to learn more about our F.A.I.R. Program at: (304) 436-6588. Participants must have a medical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or related dementia, an unpaid caregiver over the age of 18, and receive care in the state of West Virginia. The program fee is based on a sliding scale.