To achieve our goal of providing comprehensive care, the ADMDC employs a full time clinical psychologist who specializes in the non-pharmacological management of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. We believe counseling about cognitive disorders plays a fundamental role in the care of persons with dementia. Consequently, we build this component into our care plan for all of our patients and families.
Medical counseling should not be confused with therapy. Counseling within the setting of the ADMDC is intended to educate the patient and family about their condition, determine factors influencing the immediate and long-term management of the disease, and assist in developing a treatment plan.
The counseling visit is an opportunity to openly discuss the diagnosis and associated concerns of all present. Counseling visits are often requested between the time of the initial visit and annual check-up to address specific issues such as
- Adjustment to diagnosis
- Respite care options
- Behavioral changes (e.g., loss of initiative, apathy versus depression, sleep difficulties, restlessness, agitation)
- Caregiver distress
- Crisis management
- Residential or emergency/short term placement
- Difficult transitions (e.g., stopping driving, hiring home help)
Some patients and family members return for individual or family counseling because interpersonal conflicts, individual circumstances, or practical barriers are preventing them from carrying out the prescribed treatment plan.
Counseling is easily accessed by all ADMDC patients and their family members, and should be considered an integral part of the disease management process.