When someone receives a diagnosis of dementia, the first thought is often, “what’s next?” It’s overwhelming to say the least! Insight Memory Care Center is proud to offer the SHARE program, providing families with a recent diagnosis a straightforward and viable way to plan for future needs. We have served 38 people so far this year through the program, and start new couples regularly.
One program participant recently shared:
“We have recently participated in and completed the SHARE for Dementia program. We found it to be an invaluable resource and tool to plan for and prepare ourselves and our family for the inevitable changes and issues that lie ahead. We were initially reluctant to address topics that might increase our fear of future challenges, however our counselor, Melissa Long, guided us through the SHARE platform skillfully and provided us with a level of comfort that allowed us to walk through the process with ease and a growing confidence that we were making the best possible plans for our future.”
The SHARE Program is a series of 5 weekly sessions, focusing on a different topic area each week to help build a future care plan. Family members and friends involved in the plan are encouraged to join for an additional meeting. SHARE empowers families as “care partners” to make thoughtful future care decisions, and live more fully with dementia.
It can be hard to start this process. As Melissa Long, Director of Education and Support, explains:
"This journey is already emotional, but the SHARE program can heighten those feelings as we talk about the potential help they may need and who they want to be in on these private activities of daily living. We regularly remind participants that this is only if and to remember staying socially engaged, eating healthily, exercising, going to regular doctor appointments, and sleeping well can potentially delay further progression."
There are advantages to early intervention. An early diagnosis allows both the diagnosed individual and the caregiver to express their feelings and preferences for care. Families can talk openly about the future and make decisions together, anticipating and planning for predictable challenges in care. Both parties are still able to communicate well, providing mutual support, and understanding the importance of balancing each other’s best interests. As one couple who participated in the program expressed:
"We are deeply grateful that we had the opportunity to take advantage of this excellent resource and equally grateful to Melissa for her expertise as well as her kindness. We would, without hesitation, recommend the SHARE for Dementia Guide for families to any and all who are dealing with the issue of Dementia."
The program helps partners better communicate with each other around values and preferences for care, make more-informed decisions about the type of care desired, expand a support network of family, friends, and community services, and set goals for participating in activities that enhance physical and emotional well-being. SHARE honors each person’s care values and preferences in order to build a strong network of support they can rely on now, and in the future.
To register, or for more information on the SHARE program, please contact Melissa Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at 703-204-4664.
This program is supported with funding through CDC Cooperative Agreement #NU58DP006925 in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Virginia Department of Health.
Activities & Engagement
"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."