Alzheimer's Association rep presents three training sessions for family members at United Helpers
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 2:14 pm

OGDENSBURG -- Michael Massurin, Senior Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York, recently presented three sessions of training for caregivers and family members at United Helpers’ Ogdensburg Campus.

Training focused on the basics of Alzheimer’s disease, coping with challenging behavior, and care-giving tips.

Massurin also toured the campus, offering ideas on how to alter the care giving environment when caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Massurin began with the basics, explaining the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease versus the typical aging process and provided tips for recognizing symptoms.

“This session really helped us to look at Alzheimer’s disease as a medical condition and not a typical part of aging,” said Melissa Burke, United Helpers’ Social Worker. “We also learned a great deal about early-onset Alzheimer’s and the signs and symptoms associated with that.”

Session two involved managing the different types of behavior associated with the disease. This session included an understanding of sundowning, or late-day confusion, and offered tips on adapting staff behaviors and the environment to avoid increasing symptoms.

“We were taught to look at our care environments in a new way,” Burke added. “Changes in lighting, staff shift changes, developing and maintaining routines, recognizing if individuals are fatigued, these are all things that we need to be aware of. We’ve already incorporated a few of Mr. Massurin’s ideas.”

Session three focused on tips for the caregiver, recognizing that each caregiver is really a part of a caregiving team. “Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is an amazing responsibility,” said Massurin. “It not only requires a great deal of patience and perseverance, it also requires a lot of teamwork.”

Massurin taught United Helpers’ staffers and family members different techniques that encourage giving as much control and choice back to the individual as possible. He also reminded caregivers to take a break when necessary.

“While you are busy giving care, remember that you need care yourself,” Massurin stressed.

United Helpers offers specialized care centers at both the Ogdensburg and Maplewood Campus in Canton. To learn more about the services provided, please call the Ogdensburg Campus at 393-0730 or the Maplewood Campus at 386-4541.