Alzheimer’s Primer

Dr. Ethelle G. Lord's book "How in the World... and Now What Do I Do?" is now available for purchase. It outlines a series of coping skills while providing encouragement and guidance.

 

Alzheimer’s Primer

By Dr. Ethelle G. Lord, available in four languages

Learn More

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Coaching

In her latest book, “Alzheimer’s and Dementia Coaching: Taking A Systems Approach In Creating An Alzheimer’s Friendly Healthcare Workforce” Dr. Éthelle G. Lord reveals her heart-felt feelings born of her experience as family caregiver for her husband, Major Larry S. Potter, USAF Retired, a specialist in the field of small business education, who lives with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

 

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Coaching: Taking A Systems Approach In Creating An Alzheimer’s Friendly Healthcare Workforce

By Dr. Ethelle G. Lord

Learn More

Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care FAQ

It is through your continued generosity that the ICA is able to change the course of dementia care, improve on the quality of life of persons living with dementia, reduce the high stress of dementia care giving, and help reduce the high cost of dementia care. It is now possible to determine the difference between cellular confusion and true dementia. Both present with similar symptoms. Knowing the difference is life changing.

ICA is deeply focused on its vision of creating a dementia-friendly healthcare workforce through training and education. Please email Dr. Ethelle G. Lord or call 207-769-9447 from Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, for more information or to set up an appointment.

In her ground breaking book, Dr. Lord lays out her vision and strong rationale for why such a profession is sorely needed but fortunately for all of us she doesn’t stop there. As a true pioneer committed to her mission in action, she is leading an unprecedented undertaking to develop and build an educational and coaching infrastructure through her Remembering 4 You Training Institute and the International Caregivers Association (consisting a clear person-directed care philosophy, high standards and set of expectations, and comprehensive training and certification program) that I anticipate will prove essential and highly beneficial to a rapidly growing number of people living with dementia and their family care partners.

With her deeply humanistic approach, Dr. Lord encourages us all to never accept substandard care for this population no matter where it takes place. She accurately identifies the majority of gaps and problems in care for this population as systemic (and uses assisted living residences without adequate regulatory standards and protective measures as one example of a potential systemic failure) and points out that the real solutions should also be identified and implemented at the system level (such as at the highest level of any care organization). She also makes a strong case as to why expecting and respectfully and skillfully demanding to attain and maintain these individuals’ “highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being” in all communities and care settings is a moral and legal human right we should all cherish and protect.

Among other precious resources and useful tools, the book is filled with numerous practical suggestions, skills, tips, and insights (some of which are life-saving) that could be readily applied to improve the quality of care and life of people living with dementia and their family and professional care partners. It also includes real-life moving stories illustrating important but often overlooked educational messages as well as inspiring statements such as “The mind may forget. The heart never will” (p.226) and “Love is an instinct that even a person who is living with Alzheimer’s retains to the end” (228). In
addition, informative statistics and findings from various research studies are shared throughout the book.

Dr. Lord’s strong emphasis on seeing close family care partners of people living with dementia as integral and equal partners of every interprofessional team (a commonly overlooked day-to-day care situation) lies at the heart of successful and sustainable efforts to optimize the well being of this population in all care settings. Close collaboration, the tremendous preventative and healing value of teamwork, and effective communication between all members of the interprofessional team (such as in nursing homes and assisted living residences) also receives much needed special attention in the book.

In her book, Dr. Lord does an excellent job in empowering family members of people with dementia to become informed, effective care partners, and advocates for nothing less than dignified and truly person-directed care. As importantly, she addresses the critical but often neglected need to empower, improve the working conditions of, and adequately train the most important employees in the care organization – direct care partners (such as home health aides, nurse aides, and certified nursing assistants). At the same time, Dr. Lord makes it clear that without strong education and commitment of managers and owners of long-term care homes and home health care organizations to person-directed care practices and endless culture change journeys, positive care outcomes are unlikely to be
realized in the long term.

The book is an honest account about the sad realities of low quality of care in a large proportion of care settings serving this population around the world (such as at home, adult day health centers, nursing homes, assisted living residences, and acute and psychiatric hospitals). As part of a growing culture change movement, the book outlines key parameters of high standard of care of people with dementia and the expectation that our society and all those involved in caring for this underserved population should aspire to realize.

Most importantly, the book could prove very useful in reducing the harmful stigma commonly experienced by this population, alleviating the social isolation and feelings of depression experienced by substantial portion of family care partners, and instilling hope in these unrecognized and often invisible heroes that when they receive timely evidence-based guidance, training and emotional supports, their loved ones with dementia will be able live their life to the fullest despite substantial cognitive disabilities. In her personal, direct, and easy to understand way of writing combined with her clear vision for a Dementia Friendly Healthcare Workforce, Dr. Lord shows us the way and we would all be wise to follow her footsteps.

Dr. Lord’s hands-on experiences, extensive knowledge, deep passion and commitment to bringing lasting positive changes in the lives of people living with dementia and their family care partners are strongly felt throughout the book. She clearly has deep appreciation of the fact that the best teachers when it comes to interacting with people with dementia are … people living with dementia. Throughout the book, she reminds us and demonstrates what the late Professor Tom Kitwood, author of the groundbreaking book Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First, taught us 20 years ago:
“People with dementia may have something important to teach the rest of humankind. If we make the venture one of genuine and open engagement, we will learn a great deal about ourselves.”

I hope that you will find this book inspiring, empowering, and useful as I did,

Eilon Caspi Ph.D.

Founder and Director, Dementia Behavior Consulting, LLC

If you Google “dementia-care” on the Internet, you will find lots of links about “dementia” but nothing specific about “dementia-care.” The information is mostly about topics such as the stages of dementia, which is very important information – but how do we cope better with the actual care of those who suffer with dementia that can often last decades? This is the reason the ICA was created and offers a uniform dementia-care program for everyone, anywhere.

Dementia-care refers to the actual skill-set required by anyone – from family caregiver to healthcare professional – to improve the quality of life of someone living with Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia. It is specialized care that requires specialized training. Dementia-care is complex and very costly – until now.

There are many aspects of dementia-care that most of us only learn about through “hit and miss” thinking or simply by chance. We often hear people say, “You see one person with dementia and you’ve seen one person with dementia.” The ICA believes that each and every individual is unique; however, we have developed a uniform way to deliver dementia-care that truly fits everyone.

Due to the challenging demands of dementia-care and the high costs of such care, it is no longer acceptable to provide services via the “hit and miss” approach. It is simply too costly financially and in terms of quality of life for the individuals requiring such care.

Every person living with dementia is as rich inside as any healthy person. How do we reach inside and draw this richness out of the individual? How do we get their attention long enough to be understood and get them to comply with their care needs?

It is the responsibility of the care provider to break through and reach for the essence of the individual. One reason many report resistance and aggression on the part of the care receiver is that the care provider does not have the tools to break through effectively. At the ICA, we have the right tools for your toolbox!

Lack of dementia-care training is actually draining our healthcare workforce and costing healthcare budgets more than can be allocated or is affordable, resulting in very poor or unacceptable dementia-care and needless suffering.

The goal is to find the same basic services in dementia-care from one facility to the next, whether at a hospital, long-term care facility, or even at home. Think about what a McDonald’s hamburger tastes like in Canada and in the UK: the same, right? So it should be with dementia-care. The ICA wants dementia-care in the United States and Japan, for example, to reflect the same basic, effective program.

The ICA has clear and basic requirements for its trainers. We designed a rubric to guide any and all interested trainers. Our initial group of trainers includes world-renowned professors, authors, and practitioners who are experienced in the field of dementia-care. They are courageous and ambitious professionals who answered a personal invitation, sight unseen, to support the mission and vision of the ICA.

What you will find at the ICA are the best, most useful, and immediately applicable techniques for reducing the stress of providing dementia-care and improving the outcome for each care receiver. Each training segment is offered live via webinar platform, and is recorded for replay at will. This keeps costs down and quality high. All trainers are highly qualified individuals ready to answer your questions and share their knowledge and experience.

High school students who aspire to enter the healthcare field in any capacity can benefit from acquiring knowledge through hands-on mentoring at existing facilities, and then get first-hand experience in on-the-job training programs in their communities. Such training and experience will serve them, and society, for the rest of their careers and lives, and the ICA is helping to establish these programs.

It begins with the family caregiver, who is often surprised by the diagnosis and soon overwhelmed by the demands of caring for their loved one, including the need for medical procedures of which they have no knowledge of or experience.

Second, current training programs in certified nursing assistant programs mention dementia-care, but they focus mostly on statistics and the stages of dementia. Over 70% of people living in assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities are living with a dementia requiring specialized care, but we know that the staff in those facilities do not currently receive the necessary training.

Third, family caregivers, ‘pack leaders,’ healthcare workers, healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, and care providers such as facility administrators and hospital CEOs can all benefit from training such as learning to speak Alzheimer’s in less than 20 minutes. Every breakthrough dementia-care training the ICA offers is offered as distance learning unless otherwise requested.

Finally, dementia-care training can benefit entrepreneurs everywhere who want to meet the needs of this fast-growing industry, because facilities that provide for the care and social needs of these families are needed everywhere. Find out what is needed and invest in those ideas that fill an important but urgent need for society.

Individuals:

  • Family caregivers and ‘pack leaders’
  • Nurses and nursing aids
  • Social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists
  • Family doctors, neurologists
  • Alzheimer’s/dementia coaches
  • Lawyers and judges

Businesses:

  • Nursing training schools
  • Medical training schools
  • Certified nurse’s aid programs
  • Homecare agencies
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Dementia-care facilities
  • Memory loss units
  • Small-scale homecare providers
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Travel industry (hotels, restaurants, airlines, transportation)
  • Protective services (police, ambulance services)

If you are not listed above, do not despair. Dementia is in every country and affects all of us whether directly or financially.

Our uniform breakthrough dementia-care program strives to ensure that no matter where you live or travel, you will encounter an acceptable form of care that is effective, efficient, and reduces stress on both the care provider and the care receiver. You will find answers to these questions, and so much more:

  • How can I learn to speak Alzheimer’s in 20 minutes?
  • What is the best way to brush the teeth of someone with dementia?
  • What proven alternative healing methods work best for those living with dementia?

ICA breakthrough dementia-care is designed to reduce stress, increase the efficacy of dementia-care, establish a care model that is recognized and accepted everywhere, and reduce the cost of providing such specialized care through interprofessional teams.

  • Takes tremendous pressure off leadership by improving their social profile and performance
  • Reduces cost of care by forming interprofessional teams
  • Remarkably improves quality of life for care receivers
  • Makes obvious the quality of the work of care providers

And wellness beats sickness and sadness – every single time!

By “priming for compliance” to minimize resistance on the part of the care receiver, less time is required = less time and energy expended = less stress and burnout = less absenteeism = less costly workforce turnover.

Acquiring the right tools necessary for this specialized care is essential in reducing stress and frustration due to poor work habits. Families can find much comfort as integral parts of a larger interprofessional healthcare team and enjoy their role in this worldwide effort. If and when families find it necessary to place their loved one in long-term care due to family members’ physical and emotional limitations, the team will have already been established and be ready to step in.

Adopting ICA breakthrough dementia-care in your home, workplace, and country will change the way your community supports the millions of people living with dementia. You will also be supporting the quest for a dementia-friendly healthcare workforce ready to include families in the larger interprofessional team.

Yes it does, because it is designed to be uniform in presentation and delivery. Furthermore, it is presented in easy-to-understand training sessions via webinar. We aim to meet the four basic learning principles outlined by Richard Efthim, ICA Training Director:

  • To inform
  • To tell
  • To show
  • To ask, “What if…?”