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Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program addresses isolation among family caregivers

Staff Reports • Oct 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM

The Home Instead Senior Care office that serves Mt. Juliet and Lebanon plans to launch a new campaign designed to make the community more Alzheimer’s friendly. 

Through the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program, the Home Instead Senior Care office will provide free training to local businesses to help equip employees with information and resources needed to welcome families who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

In a recent survey of Alzheimer’s caregivers, 74 percent reported they and their loved ones have become more isolated from the community as a result of the disease. Furthermore, 85 percent reported that they feel a reduced quality of life due to isolation. 

“For many caregivers, the unpredictable nature of the disease can make going out in public with their loved one intimidating,” said Maggie Lea, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office that serves Hermitage, Wilson, Smith and DeKalb counties.  “Our research shows that family caregivers might be reluctant to frequent public places because of the behaviors that could be associated with the disease.”

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, the number of people with dementia worldwide is expected to grow to a staggering 75.6 million by 2030 and 135.5 million in 2050.

“Given the statistics, most businesses that deal with the public will be serving people with Alzheimer’s and their families,” said Lea. “It’s critical that local businesses start working now to build Alzheimer’s friendly communities to better serve their customers with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

Local businesses can work directly with the local Home Instead Senior Care office to coordinate an in-person training. An interactive, online version of the training also is available at AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com. Once the training is successfully completed, businesses will receive a window cling with the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business designation. The designation will be valid for two years.

For more information, visit alzheimersfriendlybusiness.com or call 615-553-4297.

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