It is the mission of the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin to be a support and a resource for families during this time of uncertainty. We have put together this handout to provide families with information about COVID-19, caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias including resources to help. We will continue to do everything we can to help families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
List of COVID-19 Resources
- The CDC website is an excellent source of information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services- Find contact information for your local health department: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/lh-depts/counties.htm
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is offering tips for family caregivers: https://alzfdn.org/coronavirus-prevention-tips-alzheimers-familycaregivers-alzheimers-foundation-america-afa/
- Caregiving in a time of Coronavirus: A Fact Sheet developed by Emory’s Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and shared via UsAgainstAlzheimer’s designed for people providing informal care for persons living with Alzheimer’s and related illnesses.
In addition to this information, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin’s intention is to connect caregivers with resources being offered virtually.
On-line Caregiver Support Groups
- Alzheimer’s Association – 24/7 Helpline – 800-272-3900 They also offer a variety of online and virtual supports.
- ALZConnected is a free, online community for anyone affected by Alzheimer’s or other dementia such as message boards and a Caregivers Forum.
- Caregiver Teleconnection – weekly live call-in events as well as archived programs all relating to caring for someone who is older or disabled.
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has a toll-free helpline (866-232-8484) and webinars that are accessible online.
Recommended Home-Based Activities for the Caregiver and Person with Dementia
Caring for a person with memory loss or dementia can be challenging. The following tips can help caregivers provide the best possible care for those with the disease, while maintaining your own health and well-being.
- Do your best to maintain structure and routine in the home.
- Turn off the television/radio to avoid increasing anxiety surrounding current events.
- Reminisce by looking at old photos or family movies to bring about positive memories.
- FaceTime with family (with iphone, or can use SnapChat, What’s App on a Smart phone)
- Continue to laugh daily.
- Read or listen to audio books or download new podcasts
- Fresh air and sunshine are a natural mood booster.
- Physical activity, like dancing, chair yoga, videos on YouTube
- Record your life story to give to your children
- Spend quiet time with your pet.
- Listen to music
- Word puzzles, jig-saw puzzles, Sudoku, and word finds are good for the brain.
- If watching television, consider watching Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune to stimulate the brain or educational programs.
- Get enough sleep
- Read, teach, learn something new (a skill, language, poem, joke, song, knowledge).
- Use your creativity, make a map, do math, view a webcast, “think outside the box”
- Fill out calendars with new or important dates
- Organize one small area a day
- Paint a vase, bottle or can
- Take fun and silly photos with props
- Guided breathing exercise, click picture for step-by-step guidance
Confidential conversations. If you have any questions or want to talk, please call our Helpline, 1-888-308-6251 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Dementia Outreach Specialist is available to discuss any issue, to help with problem solving or developing a plan to help in the care of your loved one. Although our office is closed until further notice we are working remotely Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
DEMENTIA OUTREACH SPECIALISTS WORKING REMOTELY TO PROVIDE YOU SUPPORT.
Noreen Kralapp, 608-661-0463, email@example.com
Barbara McKinney, 608.204.9789, firstname.lastname@example.org
CRAWFORD, GRANT, IOWA, & LAFAYETTE COUNTIES:
Heather Moore, 608-723-4288, email@example.com
COLUMBIA & SAUK COUNTIES:
Janet Wiegel, 608-742-9055, firstname.lastname@example.org
GREEN LAKE, MARQUETTE, & WAUSHARA COUNTIES:
Kristine Biesenthal, 920-294-4100, email@example.com
GREEN & ROCK COUNTIES:
Teena Monk-Gerber, 608-843-3544, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADAMS & JUNEAU COUNTIES:
Nancy Thacker, 608-516-6248, email@example.com
Becky Debuhr, 608.732.3131, firstname.lastname@example.org