These are becoming more common.
As a volunteer, I still have to pay for these, which is irritating. There is little government funding for such. I am an advocate, as I work with families. I am still calling for a patient advocate for families. We need a non-medical support, much like the Alzeimer Society's First Link program. Another barrier, is the the Alzheimer Society has hijacked dementia, and there are many causes to dementia. Many are afraid of the stigma and avoid diagnosis, or may be in denial, which means they cannot access many fine programs.
We are learning much about dementia. Unfortunately, for family caregivers, the pressure and stress of caregiving can be demanding, especially for those juggling jobs, children and parents, can be too much as dementia causes personality changes; anger, violence, or agitation.
That said, I've seen many fine long-term care programs where our loved ones are cared for in dignity.
JUDITH GRAHAM Recognizing that people won’t sit through long online lectures, Dr. Laura N. Gitlin and Ms. Nancy Hodgson have broken each class into 15- or 20-minute segments.
Dr. Gitlin is developing non-pharmacologic interventions to treat troublesome behavioral symptoms and participated in writing an important paper on this topic, published in JAMA late last year.
An expert on “person-centered” care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and the originator of a massive open online course (M.O.O.C.) on this condition, which will be offered through Coursera for five weeks starting in mid-October.
Some will be Oprah Winfrey-style sessions with one of the doctors questioning a colleague from Johns Hopkins with expertise in a subject area — including Dr. Peter V. Rabins, an author of “The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons With Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life.”