CHI Memorial is launching a six-week, online video series starting Thursday, June 24, aimed at educating people with dementia and their caregivers to navigate the complexities of the disease.
Dementia is a broad term that describes the loss of cognitive function or changes in behavior that interfere with a person's daily living, which could include impaired thinking, trouble remembering or inability to reason.
Each week, the series will feature a new specialist from a range of disciplines critical to dementia care, including geriatric medicine, neurology, and elder and special needs law, caregiving and advocacy, physiatry and end-of-life care. Videos will be posted online at memorial.org/doctalk.
"Really, to take care of dementia patients properly, these are all the experts they require," said Dr. Alycia Cleinman, a geriatrician with CHI Memorial Center for Healthy Aging, which is hosting the series through a grant from Tennessee Department of Health.
"We all come from very different backgrounds, but it takes a team approach to care for these patients. With this series you get to hear from other specialties and their perspective on the treatment and caregiving," Cleinman said.
Partner organizations include the Alzheimer's Association, Chambliss Law, and Hospice of Chattanooga.
Amy French, senior manager of programs for the Alzheimer's Association, will be one of the featured speakers, talking about resources, support groups and coping skills for caregivers.
"I always say that there is never just one patient when it comes to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia — the caregiver is equally important," French said, adding that her video will include a conversation with another caregiver who will give a firsthand account of her experience.
"Caregivers often struggle, they feel alone, and stress-related illness and conditions are very common in caregivers — depression, anxiety, high blood pressure," French said. "Caregivers can also be the best teachers, and there's help available to alleviate the stress so you can focus on the joy of caring for someone who has a chronic illness."
Cleinman said people at any stage of dementia and their caregivers and loved ones could benefit from tuning in.
She's especially proud that the series includes a psychiatrist, because there are so few they're hard to find, and an expert in hospice and palliative care, since this is often one of the more difficult conversations to have in clinical settings.
The full video lineup is listed below:
Thursday, June 24 - The Dementia Umbrella – Types of Dementia
Alycia Cleinman, MD, geriatrician, CHI Memorial Center for Healthy Aging
Thursday, July 1 - Advanced Diagnostics & Treatment Options for Dementia
Matt Kodsi, MD, PhD, neurologist, CHI Memorial
Thursday, July 8 - When You Don't Know What You Don't Know – The Importance of Having a Plan
Amy B. Boulware, elder law and special needs care manager, and Rebecca H. Miller, elder law and special needs attorney, Chambliss Law
Thursday, July 15 - Caring for a Loved One with Dementia: A Discussion About Caregiver Burden
Amy French, senior manager of programs, Alzheimer's Association
Thursday, July 22 - Dementia Related Behavioral Problems
Blake Haren, MD, psychiatrist, CHI Memorial
Thursday, July 29 - What to Expect in the End Stages of Dementia
Greg Phelps, MD, chief medical officer, Alleo Health System/Hospice of Chattanooga
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