“I’d like to learn more about dementia and how to care for my mother, but how can I attend a workshop when I can’t leave my mom at home by herself?”
Research studies have shown that education and support for the caregiver has positive effects. However, those who are caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia may have difficulty accessing the education that they need in order to feel more confident that they are providing the best care possible.
There are a variety of reasons why a family caregiver may not be able to attend a workshop:
It may be unsafe to leave the person with dementia at home alone.
The cost of respite care while attending a workshop may be too costly.
Transportation may not be available.
A workshop may not be offered in their community.
Personal schedules may not coincide with the dates, times and topics of workshops that are available.
Families need more options.
This is where ALZeducate comes in. Alzheimer Society of Toronto created ALZeducate, an online dementia education site, to offer people additional options to access dementia education. This site offers free online courses, live webinars and recordings of past webinars, providing caregivers with the opportunity to access the education they need. The website is available for those living outside of Toronto, too!
There are a variety of topics including Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, Communication, Understanding Behaviour, Adjusting to Long Term Care, Long Distance Caregiving, Young Onset Dementia, Celebrating Special Occasions, Ambiguous loss, Caregiver Stress, Brain Health. And new topics are added regularly.
Getting started on ALZeducate is easy!
Step 1 – Assess Your options - Take a short quiz to see if online learning is a good option for you. The quiz explores access to technology, online learning skills and preferences. Online learning is great for some people but not for others and choosing the best option for you is important for your success.
Step 2 – Create an account - Create a free ALZeducate account to start enrolling in courses or webinars of interest.
Step 3 – Enrol in a Course -Once you have an account, you can browse the course categories and enrol in courses or webinars with the click of a mouse.
What are people saying about ALZeducate?
“My mom's had Alzheimer's for a decade. I thought I knew plenty, but your course filled in gaps - for which I'm grateful. The most useful tidbits, however, were examples of how a caregiver can help the afflicted person [ex: face the person when speaking to him/her; name objects handed over; focus on emotions and shared connection when disorientation and memory loss become severe, etc]. Thank you!”
“I can do at home in my own time and if I miss a webinar I can play it later, which is often what I prefer to do.”
“My wife is just starting to show signs of this disease and these courses are helping cope and giving ideas on how to handle things.”
“This course will help me be more patient and understanding in what is happening to my spouse.”
“I have enjoyed the webinars I have participated. They have been professionally presented and have addressed concerns I have regarding the topic. I also like the fact that I can participate from anywhere from my laptop.”
When people participate in online dementia education via ALZedcuate, they also learn about other supports and community services. We’ll guide you toward your local Alzheimer Society so you can get the individual support that you need, and make sure that you know about the resources that are available to you.
Each person living with dementia is unique and each caregiving situation is unique. Speaking one-on-one with a counsellor at your local Alzheimer Society can help caregivers to explore their needs in relation to their individual caregiving situation.
Join us online today! Visit www.alzeducate.ca
Contributor: Andrea Nicholson Alzheimer's Society of Toronto: E-learning Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Nicholson is an educator who has worked in the dementia care field for over 20 years in hospital, community care and long term care settings. She was a part-time professor at George Brown College and Centennial College teaching within various health studies programs with a focus on aging and therapeutic communication. She has been part of the Alzheimer Society for over 10 years, starting with Alzheimer Society of Durham Region in a family support role. In her current role as Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s E-Learning Manager, Andrea oversees the development and implementation of online education for family caregivers, healthcare providers and the public. She is an advocate for persons living with dementia and their family caregivers and believes strongly that dementia education can help to improve the lives of people with dementia and those who care for them.