Dementia and Loneliness: How to Leave Loneliness Alone?
Dementia

Dementia and Loneliness: How to Leave Loneliness Alone?

While spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner, many older adults suffering from dementia and loneliness may not share the same sunny disposition. In fact, dementia and loneliness are a very common pair and have a seemingly symbiotic relationship. 

Loneliness is defined as the perception that our emotional and social relationships aren't as strong as desired. And it's estimated almost ⅓ to ½ of older adults experience loneliness or social isolation.

Fortunately, the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia (LIAD) Center offers several programs designed to help you or a loved one create new social ties, strengthen your network, and leave loneliness alone. Let's take a closer look at some of the programs we offer to older adults with and without dementia. 

Brain Fitness Workshops for Everyone

The Brain Fitness Workshop is offered to individuals without a cognitive impairment diagnosis or with mild cognitive impairment – it’s a fun session loaded with stimulating activities to help keep your brain healthy and you thinking on your feet — (since it’s virtual right now)

Best of all, you'll have the opportunity to engage with others around your age and forge valuable friendships. With a curriculum based on trials and research, Brain Fitness Workshops at the LIAD Center or held virtually, work to proactively maintain and stimulate cognitive the areas of the brain most likely to be impacted by age-related decline. 

Social Saturday & The Sharp Notes Chorus Programs

As the name suggests, Social Saturdays are all about encouraging strong bonds and stimulating participants. While Social Saturdays can serve as a respite to caregivers, it also offers the unique opportunity for care partners and their diagnosed loved one to spend quality time together. 

At the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center, we host a range of social activities to ensure everyone has an amazing time and forges new memories. Simply put, Social Saturdays offers something for everyone and is a treasure trove of events. We are also home to the Sharp Notes Chorus program designed for diagnosed individuals and their care partners, which occur every Saturday morning. 

The AL'Z Club

AL'Z Club is specially designed for people in early-stage dementia and Alzheimer's. Each day offers a new opportunity for diagnosed individuals to be mentally and socially engaged in a supportive, thought-provoking and structured environment. 

The programming at AL'Z Club is similar to one you'd find at an adult education center but is catered to meet the needs of those with mild dementia. Each session features stimulating activities to meet the abilities and needs of those with early-stage memory loss. This group includes activities such as:

  • Current events discussions
  • Trivia
  • Word games
  • Art projects
  • And so much more!

Happy Days Club 

Similar to the AL'Z Club, Happy Days Club also meets Monday through Saturday. This program is exclusively for adults who have moderate stage Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. As do all of the LIAD Center’s programs, Happy Days Club focuses on an individual’s abilities – on what they can still do happily and productively – not on what they can no longer do. 

Participants in Happy Days Club engage in a range of brain exercises as well as social interactions. The Happy Days Club encourages freedom of expression through music, art, and other stimulating activities. Program participants bond during reminiscent discussions, in group exercises, and during music entertainment.

 At the same time, social engagement is facilitated through discussion of topics of interest, discussion of present and past events, and practical activities. 

Memory Lane Club

The Memory Lane Club is designed for older adults with late-stage Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The day programs sessions offer a comfortable, supportive and safe environment for individuals to freely talk, express and be themselves without hesitation, providing the ideal setting to engage and socialize with new friends. Each day in Memory Lane Club centers around small group activities and individualized attention in a fun, enjoyable, and engaging environment. 

Caregivers Are Not Alone 

Unfortunately, anywhere between 40% and 70% of family caregivers report clinical symptoms of depression. These feelings are typically caused or exasperated by loneliness and feelings of isolation associated with the caregiving experience. However, if you are a caregiver, you are not alone. At the LIAD Center, we understand the hard work and sacrifice put into caregiving. Because of this, we offer multiple solutions to help you maintain self-care and provide the best care. 

The LIAD Center's Caregiver Support groups use peer-based support to help you find validation and hope. Our groups are relationship specific, allowing caregivers in similar positions to feel comfort in finding others going through similar experiences. 

Most importantly, you can forge valuable new social connections and receive professional suggestions and solutions to your challenges. In addition to Caregiver Support Groups, we also offer:

Contact Long Island Alzheimer's Dementia Center

At the LIAD Center, we offer a full calendar of engaging, fulfilling, and fun social events for people with Alzheimer's and dementia as well as caregivers. All of our programs are based on research and designed to help older adults live the highest quality of life while overcoming all symptoms of loneliness. 

Reach out to the LIAD Center today to learn more about our programs or how we can help.

About the Author Dana Castoria

Dana’s personal interest in health and wellness ignites her passion to help execute impactful change in the nonprofit field. As a Hofstra University graduate with a degree in Public Health and a demonstrated history in communications, Dana is committed to merge the community, individuals and professionals of Long Island to help the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center achieve its mission. Having joined the team in July 2017, she came from an assisted living facility and with over 5 years’ experience in the senior care field. Dana helped the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center plant it’s feet and grow in the new Westbury location, and believes her efforts to attain the resources to further develop and sustain its services is her part in caring for and supporting diagnosed individuals and caregivers. Outside of the office, you can find Dana exploring Manhattan, on the beach with a volleyball, dog-watching at a park or spending time with her family and friends, especially if a board game is involved!

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease or dementia?