For the 15 million Americans providing care for their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease, isolation is a serious risk. With the unpredictable nature of the disease, symptoms such as memory loss, repetition and poor judgment lead many to choose to avoid the outside world rather than risk the possibility of unpleasant, awkward or even frightening situations in public.
In a recent survey of Alzheimer’s caregivers, 74 percent reported that they and their loved ones have become more isolated from the community as a result of the disease. 85 percent reported that they feel a reduced quality of life due to isolation.
To change these statistics, the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Middlesex and South Mercer County is helping launch the Alzheimer’s Friendly BusinessSM program. The program includes a training for local businesses that is designed to help employees understand the disease and provide simple techniques to ensure customers with Alzheimer’s are treated with compassion and respect.
The training itself is quick and can be done for businesses in as little as 30 minutes, but the impact on families in our community can be long-lasting.
For a family coping with Alzheimer’s disease, going to a restaurant where a hostess will know the best place to seat you to prevent your loved one from becoming confused can lead to a much-needed night out of the house. Errands to the bank may seem less overwhelming when you know the teller on the other side of the counter can recognize and politely respond to an unexpected behavior as a result of Alzheimer’s, where others in that same situation might be confused or even rude.
Middlesex and South Mercer County businesses can work directly with the local Home Instead Senior Care office to arrange an in-person training for their employees, and an online version of the training is also available at AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com.
Once the training is completed, businesses will receive a window decal with the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business logo, allowing those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia to easily recognize these businesses taking the lead in making our community more Alzheimer’s friendly.
For more information about Home Instead Senior Care’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program, including information on what to look for in an Alzheimer’s Friendly Business, visit AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com or call (609) 448-7555.