A diagnosis of dementia can be terrifying for patients and their families. When M.J. White and her siblings noticed their mother, Beverlee, begin to struggle with her memory, they called Stanford Hospital’s Dementia Support Program for help. Led by Rita Ghatak, PhD, the program offers families a unique continuum of support, including education, consultations, home visits, family meetings, care coordination and on-going status updates to physicians.
Very few hospitals offer a comprehensive program like this and, according to Michael Greicius, MD, medical director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders, such services can be quite beneficial to patients and their caregivers:
Dementia is an incredibly devastating disease on a personal level for the patient, but it has a remarkable amount of spillover to the immediate family and extended neighbors. Every day and every week caregivers face dozens of obstacles and concerns. It’s everything from insurance to how long to keep patients at home – and the inevitable guilt that comes from not being able to care for a person at home any more. There is really heavy emotional fallout, so having a person like Dr. Ghatak and a program like ours is particularly important.
You can read more about the program in this Stanford Hospital release.
Photo by Norbert von der Groeben/Courtesy of Stanford Hospital & Clinics