On Thursday September 26th the staff here at Cremation Society of Missouri was lucky enough to participate in a very important training on how to make our funeral home more Alzheimer’s friendly. Alzheimer’s is a growing epidemic in the United States as 1 in 9 Americans has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia; and this number is unfortunately expected to grow dramatically over the next 30 years.
During our training we learned useful information on how to identify the signs of someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia and how we can be most prepared to handle those situations to the best of our ability for the families we are serving. There are many different symptoms someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia could display. Examples of these symptoms are: difficulty remembering names or events, repeating words or phrases, having difficultly completing tasks, inability to follow directions, having problems understanding business dealings or money transactions, and many others. In an industry where we frequently work with senior citizens it is important for us as a funeral home to be able to understand these symptoms and know how to be prepared for them.
Different ways and techniques on how to effectively communicate and work with someone displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia. While working with someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia it is important to remember to stay calm and positive, avoid arguing or starting an argument, and treat the person just as you would want to be treated or how you would treat any other family. It is also important to speak slowly, use simple terms while explaining things, and limit distractions during communication.
These are just a few of the important concepts we learned during our Alzheimer Friendly training; and while we know Alzheimer’s effects each person differently, we as a business and individuals are now better prepared to work with those who have Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia.