Dr. Maribeth Gallagher, DNP, PMHNP-BC, FAAN
Director, dementia programs
Hospice of the Valley
Today, more than 6.5 million Americans (50 million worldwide) are affected by ADRD. With Arizona seeing one of the highest growth rates of dementia in the nation, it will continue to be a leading cause of disability and death among older adults in the Grand Canyon State.
This is a reality that many face as they struggle to care for someone they love with the disease. Most have no idea how to be a caregiver. As troubling: Most have no understanding of the dementia journey. They quickly find that this challenging disease affects the entire family. Most care is delivered by relatives and close friends who want to keep their person home for as long as possible. Without support, the health and well-being of caregivers often suffer, despite their best efforts to provide care and oversight.
Providing good dementia care is complicated. Each experience is a highly individualized journey. There’s no predicting precise timelines or behaviors that will occur as the condition progresses. The long course of dementia leads to changes that can be bewildering, frustrating and overwhelming.
To meet the critical need for dementia support, Hospice of the Valley (HOV) has launched innovative programs to help people live well with dementia. The Supportive Care for Dementia program and new Dementia Care and Education Campus both focus on education, resources, effective coping strategies, encouragement and ongoing support.