From the Program Director | Spring 2017 Newsletter


Dear Readers,

Before a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another progressive dementia, there is often an effort to deny or rationalize the momentary memory lapses and confusion. When the diagnosis is made, you are thrown into an experience that has been described by an early stage client as “a bombshell going off.” It is frightening, disorienting and disruptive.

But until you are thrown into the experience, you cannot fully understand or prepare for a future that includes a diagnosis of a progressive dementia. And, it’s hard to accept that there is nothing to significantly slow down the progression of the disease. True, we do have some symptom modifying drugs that are somewhat effective for some people, some of the time, but no therapies exist that prevent the disease, cure the disease, or stop the progression.

Medical science has triumphed in so many areas that we remain hopeful that there will be effective therapies. However, until such therapies exist, good care is the best treatment. After years of working with individuals and families affected by a dementia diagnosis, we have learned that with good care, people with dementia can experience better quality of life and with support, the caregiver can do the same.

CaringKind should be your destination whether you are worried about yourself or someone you know. Initially, we guide you to the best diagnostic resources. We educate you about what to ask, and what to expect. We help you navigate the increasingly complex system of health and long-term care throughout the progression of the disease. We can help if you are thinking ahead about the end of life and the services you and your family may need. And most importantly, we listen and we support you.

CaringKind’s 24-hour Helpline, education programs, social work services and family caregiver workshops provide this guidance and expertise as our clients navigate the choppy and unfamiliar waters of dementia care. We help families and professional caregivers become skilled dementia caregivers. And just as important, we teach the skills of self-care, so that caregivers don’t burn out or sacrifice their physical and mental health doing this exhausting and difficult job.

Our support groups are a lifeline, a safety net and a place where a caregiver is truly understood. Our MedicAlert® NYC Wanderer’s Safety Program provides peace of mind, providing protection for the person with dementia and for the caregiver. Connect2culture® brings NYC’s rich cultural resources to families with dementia in partnership with our finest museums, performing arts centers, and botanical gardens.

And, as the disease progresses and families need help to access the increasingly complex system of long-term care, CaringKind’s 24-hour Helpline and personalized, customized social work services are always available for one on one care to get you the help you need, when you need it.

Finally, our work with three local nursing homes has brought our revolutionary Palliative Care program for Advanced Dementia to late stage dementia patients and their families. And after the death of the person with dementia, CaringKind is there to support the bereavement process, often complicated by the “long goodbye,” which can last 20 years.

At CaringKind, we see a world where no one is afraid to ask for help. We offer a hand to hold, a light in the darkness. You don’t have to take the long journey alone.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with challenges of symptoms or a diagnosis, make that call to 646-744-2900. I promise you, you will be glad you did.

Sincerely,

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