“It’s that time of year / When the world falls in love / Every song you hear seems to say / Merry Christmas …”
These words pulled from “The Christmas Waltz” are lovely, but for caregivers, Christmas is also the time of year when resources are less accessible, because the organizations and infrastructure supporting them activate voicemail and shutter up for the holidays. Understandable, but even just a couple of days sans assistance for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is long and sometimes unbearable.
The right resource
Locating the right resource for your situation is challenging beyond the holidays, too. Where and to whom do you turn for support when the going gets rough and you’re at a loss? The national Alzheimer’s Association is a great place to begin, and its website is full of useful information.
However, what if there was a system in place where you could access products, services, and events in your local area or for a parent or grandparent who lives out of state or even in another country? Sounds too good to be true, I know, but I have good news at Christmas. Such a resource exists and is immediately available to you during the holidays and always, in the form of a global resource directory.
The Dementia Map
Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks and Dave Wiederrich of Memory Cafe Directory created a global resource directory and event calendar that promises to be a great help to both caregivers and health professionals. Alzheimer’s Speaks and the Memory Cafe Directory are a cut above resources in their own right, but the brainchild of La Bey and Wiederrich together is phenomenal.
The Dementia Map includes a resource directory, upcoming events, guides, and a Dementia Map blog. The Dementia Map provides free access to information, which is great news for caregivers with financial concerns. To care for a loved one, many familial caregivers are forced to quit working full- or part-time jobs, so this resource is invaluable.
Visit the Dementia Map
Search for resources by your geographical area or insert a keyword to find what you need on the Dementia Map website. You can choose from nearly 200 resource categories.
Also, visitors may research available events, some of which are virtual, while others are in-person gatherings. You may also plan events through the resource. How wonderful for the caregiver and the person for whom care is provided, as isolation is often an unwelcome companion when dealing with Alzheimer’s and other life-altering conditions.
The Dementia Map is updated regularly, so visit often. Caregivers are also encouraged to contact the site with questions or to suggest searchable topics that may have been missed.
Dreams do come true
Dementia Map is a dream come true for co-founder Lori La Bey, who has been dreaming of such a resource for nearly 36 years, after her own mother was diagnosed with dementia. Like so many caregivers, La Bey was frustrated and shocked by the lack of resources available in those early days.
“Even today, most medical professionals can’t guide their patients to where they can find help. It’s not their fault. Nothing like this existed prior to Dementia Map,” La Bey said in a press release.
The Dementia Map Global Resource Directory helps families in similar situations to the one La Bey found herself in nearly 40 years ago.
“We created DementiaMap.com to help families and those seeking resources, a direct connection to products and service providers. We wanted to do that in a non-threatening fashion,” Wiederrich said.
By going on to create what Wiederrich described as a “simple, direct, and friendly website, both families and professionals can utilize one tool to expand their knowledge base and options for care which are so badly needed.”
Accessing the Dementia Map and searching for resources is free. However, there are three membership plans that companies and individuals can select for additional exposure and features. The Starter Plan is free, while the Pro and Featured Plans are paid options. You can visit the site to learn which of the plans is most conducive to your specific needs.
The Dementia Map is a fantastic resource at your fingertips during the holidays and throughout months and years ahead. If you’re feeling isolated or at a loss, the resource is there, and that’s certainly worth a happy dance, even a Christmas Waltz.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!
Note: Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Alzheimer’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease.
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