Local Resources and Help for Loved Ones with Alzheimer's Disease 2015-06-30 Human Services

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia currently affect more than 5.3 million people in America. This growing problem can leave family caregivers and those with Alzheimer's disease feeling frightened and alone. El Dorado County Senior Day Care Services is reaching out to share information about the many local resources and programs that can help those with Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers.

"We are here to help inform, support and advocate for people who have any type of dementia," said Wanda Demarest, supervisor of Senior Day Care Services in Placerville. "Over the past 30 years working with people who have dementia, I have seen the struggles they experience. There is real a sense of confusion and loss that most people don't understand unless they are also going through the same thing."

According to Demarest, being willing to lean on others and seek their support is critical when it comes to dementia. "You don't have to go through this alone," Demarest said. "In fact, there are real benefits in joining local caregiver support groups or participating in programs such as the Senior Day Care Program. We find that people with dementia generally do better when they are around their peers. Being physically and socially active is good for the brain, too."

Local programs and services of Senior Day Care Services include:

  • Senior Day Care Centers. At these centers, located in Placerville and El Dorado Hills, people with dementia can come for supervised care during the day, including medication management and personal care. The program also includes recreational and social activities, exercise, crafts, meals, education, live entertainment, peer support groups, and more. Fees range from $45 to $58 per day. 
  • Caregiver Support. Educational classes, support groups and respite care, as well as a resource library and referral services, are all available for family members who care for a loved one with dementia. These services are free.
  • Elder ID. This free program is designed to aid in the safe return of those who wander or have potential to wander due to dementia. Information and a picture of the participant are kept in a file with local law enforcement agencies and Senior Day Care Services to more quickly locate the person if they wander.
  • Dementia Community Resource Guide. This free, helpful booklet provides a step-by-step guide for those who suspect dementia. The booklet lists many local resources and programs to help with dementia, along with contact information. 

For information about Senior Day Care Services, call (530) 621-6180 in the Placerville area or (916) 358-3560 in El Dorado Hills. Additional information, and a copy of "When You Suspect Dementia: A Guide to Community Resources," can also be found online at www.edcgov.us/hhsa. Senior Day Care Services is a program of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.


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