Williamsburg, Va.— Calling all families with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory loss diseases.

The Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH), in partnership with the University of Virginia and the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, is pleased to announce the expansion of its F.A.M.I.L.I.E.S. program – short for Family Access to Memory Impairment and Loss Information, Engagement and Support.

Through this New York University-Caregiver Intervention program, caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of memory loss can now receive six free sessions with trained counselors to help reduce stress and depression, increasing family support, enhancing knowledge for managing memory disorders, and providing assistance with finding local services and resources.

This is the first time this innovative program has been offered in Virginia and is currently available to residents of James City County, York County, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Williamsburg, Gloucester and Mathews. PBS recently visited CEALH in Williamsburg to film a portion of an upcoming documentary featuring the program and highlight its impact on families.

“The goal is to help bring entire families together in big and small ways to help the primary caregiver in caring for a family member with dementia,” said Dr. Christine Jensen, CEALH’s Director of Health Services Research.
 
This federally funded research program provides the counseling and support for caregivers at no cost over several months thanks to funding provided by the Administration for Community Living.

“Compassionate, trained counselors assess the individual situation, help with understanding of memory loss and how it may progress, develop an individualized care program for the family and discuss coping strategies for stress and changes in personality or behaviors,” Jensen said.

Similar programs, Jensen added, have been shown to delay the need for nursing home care.

Additional benefits of the program include assistance in finding local services and resources and access to respite care during counseling sessions.

To determine if you are eligible for the for this program or to learn more, call Riverside Senior Care Navigation at 757-856-7030 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Published: October 31, 2016