Advice for after the diagnosis: dementia expert

Advice for after the diagnosis: dementia expert

When a diagnosis of dementia is made, it can impact the life of the person with dementia in various ways, as well as the life of his or her loved ones. The diagnosis gives rise to many emotions and questions. It is a good idea to plan and prepare for the future together.

It may be the case that you, as a caregiver, will lose sight of the big picture and will question whether you have overlooked something. You might also have quite a few urgent emotional and practical questions.

You may schedule an appointment with a dementia expert:

Cognufit

Cognufit

The physician can refer you to the ‘Cognufit’ programme: an individual rehabilitation programme for caregiver and patient.

During the first appointment, we seek to understand the situation of the person who has dementia and his or her environment in order to respond to direct questions.

During a follow-up session, we will continue to support you further in concrete difficulties like physical activities and a safe home environment. Upon request, we offer cognitive exercises and help you look for medical aids, as well as seek out memory tips and tricks. With the help of home-based tasks, we can then determine whether our tips are also able to be put into practice.

This programme does not forget the caregiver. You will receive tips regarding hygiene, self-care and medication use. There are also important tips for how to interact with a person who has dementia. In addition, we keep your own energy and emotional experience in mind.

Practical aspects

The initial consultation is held at the Geriatrics Day Hospital. The subsequent sessions are scheduled in consultation with you. We can also refer to other care providers and to the psychological education programme for caregivers of persons with dementia: Dementia: care for the caregiver.

Contact

Dementia: care for the caregiver

Dementia: care for the caregiver

For informal carers

In Flanders, almost 65% of people with dementia live at home. Some live alone, others with a relative. People often have a great number of questions after the diagnosis. Those include practical questions but also questions about the emotional aspect.

How can you look after your relative with dementia but also look after yourself? ‘Dementia: care for the caregiver’ focuses on informal carers who care for someone with dementia, either at or outside of the home.

A number of things may be helpful:

  • Finding out more about dementia, its impact, how to cope with it and what support is available.
  • Learning to cope with your feelings, thoughts and caregiving burden better.
  • Meeting people who support and understand you.

What do we offer?

Ten meetings:

  • always in the same group of up to 15 informal carers of people with (young-onset) dementia
  • exchange of insights, knowledge and skills
  • reflection and exchange with other informal carers

These sessions will help you to cope with the sometimes challenging caregiving situation and also to derive satisfaction from it.

‘Dementia: care for the caregiver’ is a psychological education package developed at the initiative of the Flemish Expertise Centre for Dementia and the Flemish Alzheimer's League non-profit organisations. The counsellors have completed the ‘Dementia: care for the caregiver’ coach training.

Price?

€80.00 This includes your participation in the ten sessions and a copy of the book ‘Dementia: care for the caregiver’ (Dementie en nU) for informal carers.

When?

At the Maria Middelares General Hospital in Ghent: lesson series that starts in September

  • Thursday, 8 September 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 15 September 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 22 September 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 29 September 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 6 October 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 13 October 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 20 October 20, 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 27 October 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 3 November 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 10 November 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm

At the St Vincent General Hospital in Deinze: a lesson series that starts in September

  • Thursday, September 8, 2022, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday, September 15, 2022, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday, September 29, 2022, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday, October 13, 2022, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 20 October 20, 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, October 27, 2022, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 10 November 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 24 November 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 1 December 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Thursday, 8 December 2022, 1.30pm - 4.30pm

This lesson series will take place at the respective hospitals.

See the leaflet below for more information and for registration.

Get more information by e-mail or through one of our staff:

Leaflet

Read more about these information sessions in the leaflet below:

Only available in Dutch:

Dementia guidance

Dementia guidance

Dementia has a range of impacts. It is a good idea to plan and prepare for the future together with your carer. Do this at a pace that you feel comfortable with. Not everything must be accomplished straight away.

Below is a list of the most common and most important matters. It is not complete, as dementia manifests in many different ways. Every person requires an approach that suits their circumstances.

The Dementia guidance is aimed at those with early dementia and their helpers.

Only available in Dutch:

Flemish Expertise Centre for Dementia

Flemish Expertise Centre for Dementia

The Flemish Expertise Centre for Dementia is a partnership between the Flemish Platform for Informal Carers and SAM (a social welfare support centre). It is one of the action points in the informal care plan of the Flemish government.

Tailored information can be found on www.mantelzorgers.be.

Participation by informal carers

Participation by informal carers

Your role as carer

If a person with dementia is accompanied by their informal carer during their hospital stay, this may prevent the patient from feeling confused and agitated. As an informal carer, you are an essential part of the continuity of care for your loved one.

Read more in the leaflet below about participation as an informal carer in the care trajectory of a person with dementia.

Paying attention to the ‘small’ things

Are you a carer for somebody with cognitive disorder or dementia? Is a hospital stay scheduled? Help us to get you know your loved one, so that we can take their daily routines into account as best as possible during their hospital stay. This will ensure a calmer and more comfortable hospital stay.

In the document below, you will find a number of questions about your loved one. Print it out, complete it and return it to the nurse in the department (nursing desk). The document will be put up in the room.

Only available in Dutch:

Dialogue card

Dialoguing together is important for cooperation in health care. What are the expectations? Are we headed in the same direction?

This is why we developed 'Dialogue’ (Samenspraak). This is a card that helps caregivers, those in need of care as well as professional care providers enter into dialogue as equal partners. It makes the experiences and expectations of the various parties discussible.

Dialogue is the result of an action study by the Support Centre for Wellness, Public Health and Family as part of the Flemish Caregiver Plan.

You can download the dialogue card below.

Only available in Dutch:

Dementia Walk-in Centre

Dementia Walk-in Centre
Maria Middelares General Hospital is one of the partners running the Dementia Walk-in Centre.

Ghent aspires to being a dementia-friendly city. Everybody is welcome at the Dementia Walk-in Centre with questions about dementia.

Maria Middelares General Hospital is a partner of the Dementia Walk-in Centre. Compassionate care for people with dementia and their informal carers is a priority for us. Rest assured that you can always contact your physician or our dementia coaches with questions.

Leaflet

Read more about the Dementia Walk-in Centre in the leaflet below:

Only available in Dutch:

Dementia Compass

Dementia Compass

The first line zone Schelde and Leie has a Dementia Compass that helps care providers and caregivers in their search for organisations that offer help or treatment for persons with dementia. Our hospital is committed to working with dementia experts, supported by the specialties of geriatrics and neurology, in providing this care.