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Dementia - Resources and Support for Caregivers

We hope that the resources listed below are helpful to you while you wait for mental health services for an individual with dementia or are between appointments. These resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care professional with any questions you may have. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of a resource you have found on this website, including those listed below. If you are seeking professional mental health services you may find our Accessing Care for Seniors page helpful.

Resources for Caregivers

Caregivers are people who help a family member, friend, or another person in need of assistance or support with daily living. A caregiver may or may not also be the person’s substitute decision-maker. Caregivers play an important role in a patient’s journey with dementia and the interprofessional care team at Ontario Shores aims to include caregivers as much as possible. We also understand that the impact of dementia and the experience at Ontario Shores may be challenging for a caregiver. The interprofessional team hopes to provide ongoing support to caregivers throughout a patient’s stay at Ontario Shores. This may occur in family meetings with the interprofessional care team, special events on the unit, and in referrals to supportive services, such as our Family Resource Centre. More resources and links to support are available throughout the Ontario Shores website and listed below.

An admission to our unit(s) is expected to be temporary for stabilization and a plan for transitioning to the most appropriate setting will be established early on. Caregivers are involved in the transition process through family meetings, regular updates with the social worker, and pre-discharge conferences. Outpatient services may be provided by Ontario Shores or another community provider or in collaboration together. Ontario Shores encourages caregivers to be involved in the discharge planning process as early as possible.

During admission, an inter-professional care team will collaborate with caregivers and patients to develop a person-centred plan of care. This will include assessing for and providing access to interventions tailored to the person’s preferences, skills and abilities. Interventions offered at Ontario Shores are evidence-based, meaning they are well supported by research and shown to be effective. These interventions may be delivered by various members of the inter-professional care team.

Information Links

Therapies that may be considered
Animal Assisted Therapy
Animal-Assisted therapy utilizes animals (e.g. dogs) to increase social engagement and communication, decrease psychological feelings of loneliness, boredom, and improve quality of life.
Exercise is any form of physical activity provided to enhance or maintain range of motion, strength and conditioning. Exercise programs are offered to promote physical health and psychological wellbeing of individuals with dementia.
Hand / Foot Interventions
Hand massage is the application of gentle touch onto one’s hands that can have the power to elicit positive responses. In addition, we have a Registered Foot Care Nurse, that will provide foot care to our clients, once a month
Aromatherapy is the application of pure essential oils e.g. lavender oil, and lemon balm (Melissa) oil to offer a therapeutic effect. Research has shown that aromatherapy intervention offered twice a day has reduced aggression and agitation in individuals
Music Intervention
A music intervention is any use of music to promote relaxation, increase engagement or socialization, and overall well-being.
Montessori Activities
Montessori activities provide practical opportunities for individuals with dementia to experience and engage in meaningful activities. Individual and group activities are tailored to one’s personal needs and interests.
Therapeutic Reminiscence
Therapeutic reminiscence is the process of recalling past experiences to enhance self-understanding, promote communication and positive interaction between individuals. Reminiscence therapy allows individuals to enhance mental health and promote self-este
Doll Therapy
Doll therapy is an alternative therapy to help patients with dementia to alleviate agitation and psychological distress. It helps to decrease feelings of boredom and isolation and may help individuals’ attachment needs. It allows individuals to experience
Multisensory Interventions
Sensory stimulation activities provide opportunities for engagement and to reduce responsive behaviours of individuals with dementia. By utilizing familiar objects and exploring the five senses (e.g. sight, taste, smell, hearing and touch) clinicians can
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