While the experience illustrated last Sunday's story "Virtual Dementia Tour provides empathetic view" is invaluable, it takes more than a tour to provide the most important puzzle piece: education on the best ways to respond for effective dementia care.

The teachable moment comes in how caregivers respond to the anxiety, fear and uncertainty people with dementia can face daily. What steps are taken to provide support in completing tasks or to encourage activities that add value and purpose? How does a caregiver offer comfort when the anxiety is overwhelming, leading to behavioral responses that are considered inappropriate but are actually attempts to communicate?

The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin has been helping families answer these questions for more than 30 years. Their staff works to increase the level of knowledge and support necessary to respond to the day-to-day challenges of caring for someone with dementia. We help families learn to respond based on individual needs and avoid crisis situations.

The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance offers professional education illustrating best practices for direct care staff. Let’s go beyond raising awareness by encouraging our friends and family to take advantage of support at every stage of the dementia journey.

Kristin Larson, Madison

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