Managing Dementia-Related Behaviors In The Home: Ensuring Client Quality Of Life And Caregiver Safety

Professional fiduciaries frequently work with clients who exhibit dementia-related behaviors like wandering, agitation, using “inappropriate” language, or making sexually explicit comments. Working with these clients can present physical and emotional risk to the fiduciary and/or the in-home professional caregivers or family caregivers. Given that most older adults prefer to age in place at home when financially possible, it is up to the professional fiduciary to determine if they can keep clients with dementia safely at home, with good quality of life, while also ensuring the well-being of those caring for them on a day-to-day basis. In this presentation, Ms. Abrams and Ms. Valoff will review common dementia-related behaviors, as well as methods for preventing and addressing these behaviors. They will offer resources to help professional fiduciaries to create safe, in-home caregiving plans for their clients, partnering with other professionals with dementia care expertise. Finally, they will discuss employee/employer issues as they relate to creating a safe workplace environment for private-duty or home care agency employees working with clients who exhibit these behaviors.

Speakers

Amy Abrams, MSW/MPH, CMC-Ret

Amy Abrams, MSW/MPH, CMC-Ret

Alzheimer's San Diego

Ms. Abrams has worked in the field of long-term care in San Diego for twenty years, in care management, dementia care, and community health education. She holds a joint Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from San Diego State University, and is a certified Positive Approach™ to Care dementia trainer. Ms. Abrams is a long-time member of the Aging Life Care Association and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. She is a passionate educator and vocal advocate for aging and disabled adults, and currently serves as the Director of Education for Alzheimer’s San Diego, a local non-profit organization whose mission is helping families today while finding a cure for tomorrow.

Susan Valoff, LCSW, C-ASWCM, CDP

Susan Valoff, LCSW, C-ASWCM, CDP

Vice President, Windward Life Care

Ms. Valoff has worked in healthcare and geriatrics for over 25 years as a medical social worker, home care administrator and certified Aging Life Care Manager®. She holds a master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago. Ms. Valoff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM), and a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). Ms. Valoff is Vice President of Windward Life Care, a company providing in-home caregiving, care management, and skilled nursing services throughout San Diego County. A frequent public speakers and active community volunteer, Susan is considered one of San Diego’s experts in aging well.