Alzheimer’s awareness program offered to local businesses

By Ryne Turke on August 22, 2015 at 9:09am

A program is being offered in Jacksonville to train businesses to assist customers with Alzheimer’s disease.

The free service is run by Home Instead Senior Care and focuses on providing individuals with the tools and knowledge to welcome families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.

Community Service Representative Becky Hatley says this is the first time an Alzheimer’s training has been offered for the community. She says this will have a profound impact on individuals with Alzheimer’s, because they have a difficult time functioning in public.

“More and more people are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and what we have found is that their loved ones are keeping them at home longer. We have also found that the unpredictable nature of the disease can make going out in public with a loved one very intimidating,” says Hatley.

Hatley says there are plenty of businesses in Jacksonville that would benefit from this training.

“We are focusing on pharmacies. I have already done a training with Walgreens, so they are certified as an Alhzhymer’s Friendly Business. We are partnering with area banks. We are scheduled to do a training at the Jacksonville Public Library on Columbus Day,” says Hatley.

Hatley adds that untrained individuals may have a tough time spotting someone suffering from Alzheimer’s.

“Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or any kind of dementia look just like you and I. They look no different than anyone else, especially in the mild forms of Alhzhymer’s,” says Hatley.

“Those individuals realize there is something happening to them and when they go out into the public they may be perfectly fine. Once they get there, for example if they go to a pharmacy looking for toothpaste, there may be 50 different choices and all of a sudden they get confused.”

After completing the thirty minute training, businesses will be Alzheimer’s Friendly Certified for two years.

Any business interested in getting involved with the program should call Home Instead Services at 245-9192.