June in Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. This month, we are providing information and resources for individuals who are affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. For information and resources on memory loss, visit memorylossinfowa.org.

Preparing for the Road Ahead — Help for Families in the Dementia Journey

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on people with dementia and their families. Helping a family member with dementia is challenging in the best of times, but this last year created even more isolation and challenges. To assist, the Washington State Dementia Action Collaborative has been offering a “Resources for Dementia Caregivers During COVID-19” document on their webpage that shares online and virtual education, engagement and support programs each month.

Around 120,000 people in Washington have Alzheimer’s disease or another other type of dementia — and an estimated 295,000 unpaid family caregivers provide care or support for a relative (Alzheimer’s Association). Families starting to notice memory problems or changes in thinking in a loved one are often at a loss — not knowing how to help. Just convincing a family member to agree to have a medical evaluation and/or coping with such a diagnosis can be an overwhelming time, and will raise many questions. Also, new and different challenges emerge over time.

To help, the Dementia Action Collaborative created an easy-to-digest resource for families, the Dementia Road Map: A Guide for Family and Care Partners. It offers practical information to families as they enter into, live with and navigate the dementia journey.

The Dementia Road Map helps families anticipate and answer questions that may arise or can be difficult to talk about. “It is overwhelmingly good!” said one user. “It’s very simple and easy to understand. No medical jargon. I like how it breaks down in different stages.”

With a positive focus on what families can do at any stage, it touches upon medical and lifestyle decisions, services and care options that are available and what to consider in terms of legal planning. The Dementia Road Map also offers specific action steps for each stage as well as a summary of helpful organizations and documents. As one user says, “Everything has been thought of and it’s all in one place!”

The Dementia Road Map is available in English and Spanish. View it online (link above) or get paper copies.

Here’s how you can order –

  • For 1–5 copies, email: Dementiaroadmap@dshs.wa.gov
  • For more than 5 copies, you will order from the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES). While there is no cost for the guide itself for non-profits and government organizations, for-profit entities will pay for the cost of the booklet. All customers will pay a charge for Shipping and Handling. Follow instructions below:

1) Go to http://myprint.wa.gov

2) If it is your first time ordering from DES, you will need to register. To do so, just click on the Login link in the upper right corner of webpage. In the pop-up box, click Register. Once you have registered and/or logged in, put the title (Dementia Road Map) in search box and click Enter. Follow remaining instructions.