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    • 30 OCT 12
    • 22

    Why Adult Day Health Care Is Most Beneficial For PTSD and Dementia Care

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    Caregiving can be stressful no matter what, but caregivers for those suffering with cognitive or psychological issues are at a higher risk for caregiver burnout. The primary reason for this is that their loved one cannot help their condition and will often make irrational demands or have irrational fears or justifications for their thoughts and actions. By instinct, a caregiver will try to assess their loved ones needs and sometimes these needs simply cannot be met. This puts the caregiver in a state of mental and physical exhaustion.

    Adult Day Health Care is not only beneficial for our participants, but their caregivers as well. In addition to providing the highest quality service we can to our participants, Oxnard Family Circle Adult Day Health Care Center puts an equal emphasis on providing respite for caregivers during the day.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is extremely common in many of our veterans at Oxnard Family Circle and can be very debilitating for both the individual with PTSD and their caregiver. Post-Traumatic stress can last for many years after a traumatic situation and often times will always have potential to be triggered later on in life. PTSD makes it difficult for individuals to concentrate on tasks that they may have found simple to do prior to developing the disorder. Flashbacks can be triggered by loud noises, crowded areas, locations or atmospheres that hold many memories, and sometimes with no outside source triggering the flashback at all. Post-traumatic stress can rob an individual of their life and make him or her extremely mentally unstable. Frustration will ensue because the individual is experiencing trauma from the past in a present day setting. Sometimes, even an individual’s home will trigger flashbacks or cause anxiety. It is not uncommon for victims of PTSD to blame themselves and have a feeling of incompetence because they are not able to respond to every day situations the way that they used to. Veterans might have a sense of military discipline instilled in them and feel that because they are not performing the same tasks that they used to (or because they are unable to perform certain day to day tasks due to PTSD) that they are inadequate. This can cause depression or a lack of productivity, and even drinking or drug problems.

    At Oxnard Family Circle, our goal is to provide respite for caregivers and to help participants with PTSD feel safe and happy once more. We have social workers to provide specialized therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and an area dedicated to veterans within our center. Veterans go on outings together and will sometimes do activities such as helping out at nonprofit organizations to help instill a sense of accomplishment and contribution. Caregivers are able to relax or attend to other obligations during the day while knowing their loved one with PTSD is having their needs addressed and is being taken care of. Guest singers and speakers also provide entertainment. Socialization is a major emphasis at Oxnard Family Circle ADHC. Our group settings encourage all participants to get to know each other and is designed to help create friendships between the participants, which extremely beneficial in the effort to combat PTSD.

    Alzheimer’s and Dementia are growing increasingly more common in our elders and can make caregiving an extremely stressful process. As dementia progresses the individual can become more and more irrational and lose the ability to bathe and dress oneself, feed oneself, and other day to day tasks. Many individuals in later stages of dementia will need constant supervision to ensure that they are not creating safety issues within their own home, such as forgetting to turn off the stove. Caregiver burnout is especially strong in the dementia community because communication between the caregiver and the person with dementia will slowly blur and diminish over time. Sometimes individuals with dementia will lash out at their caregiver or forget who their caregiver is, making it extremely stressful for the person providing care.

    At Oxnard Family Circle we have a specialized memory care unit that is under close supervision to help discourage those with dementia from wandering and potentially causing harm to themselves. We provide many different memory activities that help boost memory skills, which is particularly beneficial for those in the early stages of dementia. Assistants are available to help with bathing, toileting, and feeding at al times. Oxnard Family Circle ADHC is the only center in Ventura County that has a memory care unit, and this unit is especially important as the rates of dementia in our elderly population is rapidly increasing over time.

    One of the benefits of having your loved one come to Oxnard Family Circle ADHC during the day is that it provides them with a different environment. This has its affects on many levels. In many instances, we have heard stories of caregivers who deal with their loved one’s severe behavioral problems at home, and these individuals are usually very calm and compliant at our center. A man who will joke with his friends at Oxnard Family Circle and greet nurses with a smile may go home and yell in an irrational manner at his daughter who is providing care, or even throw things about the house. One of the reasons this happens is because people naturally respond differently around their family or in a home environment as opposed to how they behave around people they are not as familiar with, or when they are in a group setting. People become more focused on their behavior when they are placed in a new environment and will be more likely to recognize and correct undesirable behavior. If someone has a problem or acts out within our center, we have trained social workers who can calm the individual down, talk it out with them, address the trigger of the behavior and try to help correct it. Of course, our goal is to always have this corrected behavior transfer over to the individual’s home setting, and we address our participant’s problems in hopes of making their home situation easier as well. We also offer caregiver support groups that help caregivers get in contact with one another to vent, give advice, and share stories, as well as providing advice to caregivers ourselves. At Oxnard Family Circle our goal is to make life easier and of higher quality for everyone in the family: caregivers and participants alike.

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