- Education and social support services
- Home care services
- In-home and community companion/activity and respite programs
What companion/activity programs are available to me in the home?
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The Volunteer Companion Program offered by some Alzheimer Society chapters is also a great way for persons with dementia to socialize with other people if you live in your own home. In this program, a trained volunteer visits your home from one-four hours each week. The volunteer will spend time doing activities with you that you enjoy. Contact your local Alzheimer Society to find out if this program is available in your community.
Friendly Visitor programs, where a trained person will come to your home and provide companionship to you or your care partner, are also offered by private and charitable organisations. Check your local yellow pages in your phone book under "Senior Citizen Services and Centres" to find out what is available in your community.
Source: The information above comes from Alzheimer Society. (n.d.) Volunteer companion program. Ontario, Canada: Alzheimer Society.
What opportunities are there to socialize?
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Becoming involved in leisure activities and visits with friends can provide stimulating conversation, exercise and activity, a sense of participation and connections with others so you do not feel alone. These programs also help you maintain engagement and connections to your community. Some options include:
- Adult day programs that provide part-of-the-day supervised programming in a group setting for individuals with dementia. Services may include leisure activities, meals and personal care.
- Seniors centres that offer multi-purpose social and recreational drop-in programs for seniors
- Seniors clubs or groups that offer membership and engage seniors through various annual events, workshops and activities
- Attending activities at your church
- Visiting with friends
- Joining a new club
What respite services are available for care partners of someone with dementia?
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There are various services for you as a partner in care of a person with dementia; services that will allow you to have a break from your responsibilities as a partner in care, and provide you with an opportunity to do some things for yourselves. These services are called respite care services, and there are three ways that they can be provided: In-home respite, Adult day programs, and short-stay respite.
- This service brings someone to your own home to provide help with needed services (e.g. personal care) and to allow a family partner in care to take a break.
- If you are eligible for services coordinated by the Local Health Integration Network, in-home respite is paid for by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Otherwise, these services may be available from various providers, in which case there is likely to be a cost for these services.
- Additionally, the Volunteer Companion Program offered through the Alzheimer Society can provide you with short term relief from your care partner role. A trained volunteer will be matched with your family member and will visit your home every week for 1-4 hours. The volunteer will encourage your family member with dementia to participate in activities they enjoy, like going for walks, crafts and gardening. This will give you some free time, as well as provide social stimulation to your family member. Contact your local Alzheimer Society to find out if this program is available in your community.
- Likewise, Friendly Visitor programs, where a trained person will come to your home and provides companionship to your family member, is also offered by private and charitable organizations. Check your local yellow pages in your phone book under "Senior Citizen Services and Centres" to find out what is available in your community.
Adult day programs
- In addition to the above-noted respite options, many communities have Adult Day Programs. These agencies offer a planned program of activities designed to promote well-being through social and health related services. Adult day programs typically operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, in a safe, supportive, cheerful environment. Nutritious meals that accommodate special diets are typically included, along with an afternoon snack. There can be a consumer fee for this service to cover the meal and transportation costs (approximately $15 to $50 per day). Subsidies may be available.
- Two purposes of adult day programs are:
- To provide older adults an opportunity to get out of the house and receive both mental and social stimulation
- To give partners in care a much-needed break in which to attend to personal needs, or simply rest and relax
- Another form of respite for family care partners is the Respite Care Program (Short Stay Beds) through the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), which refers to a temporary stay at a long term care facility. There is a consumer fee for this service. Application for the Respite Care Program is arranged through your local LHIN.
Source: The information above comes from:
Reprinted with permission from Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. (2010, November). Seniors Care: Community Support Services. (c) Queen's Printer for Ontario.
Alzheimer Society. (n.d.) Volunteer companion program. Ontario, Canada: Alzheimer Society.
Reprinted with permission from Robinson, L., Segal, J., & White, M. (2010, November). Adult Day Care Centers: Finding the Best Center for Your Needs.