Better Care for People with Dementia: New UMDNJ YouTube Channel Helps Family and Professional Caregivers

Article ID: 604137

Released: 11-Jun-2013 11:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Rutgers University

Newswise — People afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have a profound need for harmony and often exhibit behavioral issues when they are experiencing internal chaos. To assist caregivers—both family and professional—with creating an atmosphere of harmony, the staff at the Comprehensive Services on Aging (COPSA) Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has produced a series of free educational videos, available on the COPSAEducation YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/13YCWUD). “Circle Of Harmony: Managing Behavioral Disturbances in Adult Day Dementia Programs” is a 66-minute film that includes vignettes and interviews with clients and professionals. It was designed to assist Adult Day Program professionals in preventing behavior problems and maximizing the functioning of people with dementia. It was created for professionals, but family caregivers are also finding it valuable. “The film helps family members make sense of the baffling changes they see in their loved ones,” explains Mary Anne Ross, Coordinator of the COPSA Statewide Resource Center and Helpline (800.424.2494). There is an accompanying workbook that is colorful, easy to follow and full of helpful information. The workbook can be downloaded as a PDF from the description box of the “Circle of Harmony” video on the COPSAEducation YouTube channel. “Bridges: A Toolkit for Day Program Professionals and Family Caregivers” is a two-DVD series geared toward educating Day Program Professionals and family members on how to effectively communicate with each other to provide the best care possible for the individual with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The family member video runs 29 minutes; the professional video is 23 minutes. A study published by Pennsylvania State University researchers in the May issue of The Gerontologist showed that adult day care programs offer significant stress relief for family caregivers, who often play primary roles in managing their loved ones’ everyday lives and affairs. The COPSA video series is designed to educate these caregivers on the benefits of Adult Day Programs to both their loved ones and to their families and to educate professionals on how to best communicate with clients and their families. “We believe that no matter how impaired someone is, the essence of the person remains,” says Mary Catherine Lundquist, MDiv., the director of the COPSA Dementia Day Program and one of the executive producers of the films. “Circle of Harmony” and “Bridges” were funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division on Aging Services, Adult Day Services Program under the direction of Terri Wilson RN BSN, Caregiver Initiatives Specialist.

Journalists interested in interviewing COPSA experts about caring for people with dementia can contact Patti Verbanas at 973.972.7273 or verbanpa@umdnj.edu. About COPSA Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related DisordersThe Comprehensive Services on Aging Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders has been a center for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia for more than 30 years. COPSA offers both clinical and supportive services for people with dementia and their families. Its day care center was the first to care for clients with dementia and is still a leader in innovative programing. For more information, contact COPSA Alzheimer’s Helpline is 800.424.2494 or visit http://ubhc.umdnj.edu/copsa/aboutus/index.htm. Follow COPSA on Facebook! About the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyThe University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey’s only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending three medical schools, the State’s only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the State. On July 1, UMDNJ’s New Jersey Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Dental School, School of Health Related Professions, School of Public Health and School of Nursing, as well as its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on the Newark and Piscataway campuses, will become part of Rutgers University. The UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Stratford will join Rowan University.