Geriatrics: Dementia Care Programs and Services

The Dementia Care Program is a comprehensive program for people with dementia and their families. The program provides diagnosis, treatment, education, support services and long term follow-up. Our program relies on the collaborative efforts of primary care physicians and professionals in the areas of geriatrics, behavioral health and neurology.

If you or a family member are experiencing problems with memory, judgment, daily functions or changes in personality, a visit to our Dementia Care Program could help diagnose the problem. These symptoms may be caused by dementia. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, therefore, it is important to get a diagnosis to identify the actual cause of the problem so that you can receive proper care.

Once you or a family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia, you can work with our professional staff to explore your options. Depending on your individual needs and circumstances, the professionals from our Dementia Care Program will assist you in making decisions that work best for your situation.

We monitor our patients for progression of the disease, so that we can provide the best care at the appropriate time. We will be there for you and your loved ones throughout the course of the disease, assisting you with each step.

Exciting developments in the treatment of Alzheimer's and other dementias are on the horizon. We are up to date with the new medications that promise real hope for patients and their families.

Education and Support Services
The Dementia Care Program provides educational sessions, individual consultations and written materials for patients, families and professional caregivers. We also work closely with the local Alzheimer's Association Chapter that provides additional educational materials, sessions and family support.

Social service interventions are offered through the Dementia Care Program to assist physicians, patients and their families. They serve as a resource for issues relating to the elderly and supply information to those who need assistance.

We also offer a complete array of supportive healthcare services, including home health nursing and equipment, hospice, spiritual support, and home-delivered pharmaceuticals.

The Dementia Care Program Team consists of staff from:

  • Geriatrics: Medical evaluation, treatment plans, patient follow-up, coordination of multidisciplinary services, partnership with primary care providers, medical care of nursing home patients, dementia education
  • Elder Services: Social service interventions, advanced care planning, referral to community services, senior housing, Lifeline, Peer Support
  • Behavioral Health: Testing, assessments, treatment planning, family counseling and support
  • Neurology: Neurological examinations, testing, diagnostics
  • Dementia Education: Family and professional educational sessions, written materials

Support Groups
Individuals and families dealing with the early stages of Alzheimer's and other dementias have unique needs. Education about dementia and support from others with similar experiences are important for dealing with the challenges people face. The Dementia Care Program provides this support through three Dementia Support Groups. The early memory loss/discussion support group, a memory loss activity/support group and a family support group all meet at the same time and location, but in separate rooms. Each group has its own facilitator and meet for one hour, two times per month. Please call Franciscan Healthcare Elder Services at 608-392-9505 to register or for more information on these groups.