>Dementia Trilogy

From the Department of Geriatric Medicine – Horizon Health Network

 

We are excited to tell you about a practical, common sense, FREE resource that we have developed for your patients and their families.  The Dementia Trilogy is a set of three booklets about dementia.  These booklets are written at the grade five level, and are thus easily understood by the target audience.  We discuss questions regularly raised in our dementia practice.  Feedback from caregivers has been overwhelmingly positive.  This information is a supplement to that currently available through the Alzheimer’s Society.

 

Anyone can access the booklets on the Horizonnb.ca website, by typing “dementia” into the search function.  The booklets can be downloaded for reading on a tablet.  They can be printed on paper for people who like to highlight and make notes.  Ideally, we would like to be able to provide paper copies at no additional charge.  Unfortunately, we do not have a budget for this.  If you are interested in stocking paper copies for distribution in your practice, please email dementiacompass@horizonnb.ca or contact a Horizon print shop through your local hospital.  The Horizon print shop number is in brackets following the title of each booklet below.

 

The first booklet, An Introduction to Dementia (HHN-0100)provides answers to people’s initial questions about dementia including, “What is dementia?” and “Aren’t memory problems normal as you get older?”.  We often provide this booklet to patients and their families the first time any form of dementia is mentioned.  There is brief discussion of the different types of dementia.  We find this appropriate for waiting rooms with other general health promotion information.

 

The second booklet, The Dementia Compass (HHN-0102), describes care issues that often arise in moderate stage dementia.  We include some behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and provide tips for caregivers when helping someone with dementia perform day to day tasks.  The references at the back of the booklet, called “Additional Information” are written for family and caregivers rather than health care providers and can supplement the booklet.  We keep this booklet in our waiting room and often find people have selected it spontaneously.

 

The final booklet in the Trilogy is called Later in the Dementia Journey (HHN-0104).  We feel this is a unique resource for enhancing some of the most difficult discussions in dementia care.  The booklet opens with a discussion of the challenges experienced by people as they enter the severe stage of dementia.  We review when to consider nursing home placement vs. continuing the commitment (financial and personal) to help someone with severe dementia remain in a private home.  Other topics include feeding and comfort care.   We do not have this booklet in our waiting room and selectively provide this to families when we anticipate that they will benefit from the information.

 

We have found this set of booklets helpful for trainees in our clinics as well as paid homecare workers accompanying patients to clinic.  It might also be helpful for office staff you work with, who may not have had significant experience in the past helping people with dementia and their families.

 

These booklets were designed to meet the basic educational needs of patients and families struggling with a diagnosis of dementia.  The Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick has support available in person, on the phone and on line.  The Alzheimer Society of Canadahas an extensive website with information for people with any type of dementia.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read about these booklets.  We have attached a page of patient handouts that can be printed to direct patients and families to the booklets on theHorizonnb.ca website. They are also available en Francais.  If you have any further questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the authors or emaildementiacompass@horizonnb.ca.

 

Sincerely,

 

Elizabeth Rhynold MD                   Cindy Hobbs MD                 Kathi Hurley RN BN MN

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