SALISBURY – A local agency is offering free resources to caregivers of people with dementia.
At MAC Inc., Area Agency on Aging, a Caregiver Resource Center is directing caregivers to resources and assistive technology that can improve the safety and wellbeing of those with dementia.
Using grant funding from the Maryland Department of Aging, Caregiver Resource Center Coordinator Janet Parke said the agency was able to acquire an array of assistive technology – items or tools that help the elder or disabled do the activities they have always done, but must now do differently. She said that could include anything from magnetic button-down shirts and fidget muffs to alert devices and specialty doorbells.
And while the devices aren’t for sale at the resource center, Parke explained that caregivers can make appointments to see and learn about the assistive technology and to talk about their needs.
“When folks come into MAC’s Caregiver Resource Center, they generally have something in mind that has been frustrating them in caring for their loved one,” she said. “They are looking for tools, tips that will improve the independence of their loved one, their family life and to make things just easier.”
Parke said the use of assistive technology can improve and maintain the quality of life of both patients and caregivers and maximize independence. The agency noted that devices can improve medication management, home safety and the ability to perform simple activities such as bathing and dressing.
Parke added MAC’s free resource center not only offers information on assistive technology, but provides one-on-one consultations for caregivers, among other things. She said appointments are available over the phone and in person.
“It’s a way to take some of the burden off the caregivers,” she said.
The agency’s program is being held in conjunction with National Family Caregiver Month, a time when the MAC Center recognizes and thanks unpaid caregivers for everything they do.
Helping caregivers with information about assistive technology is the focus of MAC’s activities this month.
For more information on the Caregiver Resource Center, or to make an appointment, call 410-742-0505. For more information on MAC programs, visit macinc.org.