Insights & Support for Stronger Dementia Caregiving Teams

Caring for individuals with dementia is a significant responsibility, and caregivers are at the forefront of this crucial task. They provide essential support and assistance, but they also need support, training, and encouragement to continue their valuable work.

LaBena Fleming, a leading voice in Alzheimer’s education and caregiver support, sheds light on this crucial topic. Her expertise and dedication illuminate the path forward, offering invaluable insights to caregivers, agencies, and communities.

Q. How can agencies effectively tailor their caregiver training programs to address the unique needs and challenges of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia?

I can’t express enough the importance of partnering with your local Alzheimer’s Association to stay on top of the latest developments in Alzheimer’s research and care. They should be your primary go-to resource center. I would also like to stress the importance of ensuring that your caregivers receive training in the area of empathy. Although it can’t be taught, it can be fostered.

Q. What strategies do you recommend for agencies to ensure their caregiver training initiatives incorporate best practices?

Just like I mentioned above, I suggest agencies partner with organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association for the latest research and resources. Prioritize empathy training for caregivers, as it’s crucial for understanding patients’ emotional needs. Regular assessments and feedback help tailor programs to best practices while fostering a culture of continuous learning, ensuring caregivers stay updated and skilled in providing quality care.

“Caring hearts enlighten minds, nurturing understanding and compassion for those touched by dementia.”

– Labena Fleming

Q. How can agencies enhance caregiver retention by providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities?

First of all, people will stay if they feel valued and appreciated. So my question would be, what are agencies doing to show staff that they “see” them? Secondly, ensuring that training is held during regularly scheduled working hours and/or offering bonus pay for those who attend training outside of regularly scheduled hours would reinforce that staff is valued. Highly trained, competent staff improves the agency’s brand. They should be treated accordingly.

Q. What measures can agencies implement to ensure caregivers receive ongoing support and guidance from experienced professionals as they navigate the complexities of dementia care?

I again stress the importance of partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association or other professionals in the field of dementia care to offer ongoing, paid professional development. This should not be done as an afterthought. It should be regularly scheduled and intentional. Collaborating with the Alzheimer’s Association will ensure that your staff has the most recent, accurate information related to dementia care.

Wrapping Up

LaBena Fleming’s insights provide a comprehensive understanding of the essential components of caregiver training and support in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Her emphasis on empathy, continuous education, and collaborative partnerships underscores the importance of holistic and informed caregiving practices. Overall, this Expert Q&A was refreshing. As much as we enjoyed reading it, we hope you will find it insightful as well.


Get to Know the Expert Better

LaBena Fleming

LaBena Fleming

LaBena Fleming, a Certified Dementia Practitioner and award-winning author, hails from Detroit, Michigan. She's the author of bestselling books on Alzheimer's and dementia caregiving. With a background in human resources and education, she retired from a hospice role in 2017 to focus on caregiver education and raising dementia awareness. Currently residing in Richmond Heights, Ohio, with her husband, LaBena is dedicated to supporting caregivers and communities affected by Alzheimer's and dementia.

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