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AD Compass

The Alzheimer's Disease (AD) Compass is a user-friendly chart of community resources available for Alzheimer's patients and their families. The AD Compass is a product of the Clark County Alzheimer's Action Network (CCAAN), a diverse group of stakeholders who assembled at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to develop a comprehensive guide of available resources about Alzheimer's.

The AD Compass encourages patients and their families to take action while patients are still able to meaningfully contribute to their own care-planning process. A proactive approach to diagnosis and intervention can improve the well-being of both persons with dementia and family members involved in their care, and ultimately delay institutional placement.

The chart is shaped like a compass to symbolize its goal of providing direction for patients and caregivers as they navigate their way through the darkness and confusion many experience following an AD diagnosis.

We hope families will utilize the recommendations provided on the AD Compass to take steps in managing an Alzheimer's diagnosis.

We invite you to spin the wheel above for great tips and community resources, or download a copy.

Who's On Your Team?

Assemble Your Professional Support System

  • Therapists: Psychotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists
  • Primary Care Physician or Geriatrician
  • Social Worker Support System
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney
  • Internal Medicine Physician
  • AD Specialist/Neurologist
  • Caregiver Support System
  • Spiritual Support System

Community Resources

Assistance you may need

  • Adult Day Care - Provides supervision and social interaction for the elderly and relief to caregivers during normal business hours. Visit: www.aoa.gov or www.adultdaycare.org
  • State-licensed Personal Care Agencies. Services include: Skilled-licensed nurses and - Activities of Daily Living services.
  • Memory Care Facilities - Specialized elder care for seniors with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Visit: www.seniorhomes.com/p/memory-care
  • Prescription Medication Assistance - Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps patients without prescription drug coverage get medicines. Visit: www.pparx.org
  • Support Groups - A place for caregivers of persons with dementia to develop a support system. Visit: www.alz.org/dsw
  • Home Delivered Meals - Meals on Wheels assists local, community-based Senior Nutrition Programs. Visit: www.mowaa.org
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities - Provides skilled nursing care, medical monitoring and assistance with activities of daily living. Visit: SkilledNursingFacilities.org
  • Hospice - Provides support to patients and families when an illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments. Visit: www.hospicefoundation.org

Take Care of Yourself

Simple Tasks to Support Your Wellbeing

  • Eat Healthy! For healthy diet suggestions visit: www.nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder
  • Talk to you physician if you are having feelings of depression or anger; there may be treatments.
  • Exercise regularly! Visit: http://alturl.com/p6gdw
  • Keep a journal about your experiences and feelings.
  • Get regular checkups and take your medications.
  • Exercise your mind with crossword puzzles, etc.
  • Share your feelings with friends and/or family.
  • See a counselor or psychotherapist.
  • Talk to a clergy member.
  • Do activities you enjoy.
  • Join a support group!
  • Drink less alcohol.
  • Don't smoke.

Get Your Legal Affairs in Order

The sooner you begin, the more you can participate in planning your affairs.

  • Choose a Power of Attorney for Health Care to act on your behalf to make healthcare decisions.
  • Create a Living Will to represent your choice for future medical decisions once a doctor decides you are irreversibly ill.
  • Choose a Power of Attorney to make financial decisions when you are no longer able.
  • Create a Living Trust to choose who will manage your assets when you are no longer able.
  • Create a Will to represent your choices for executor and beneficiaries.
  • Choose a Guardian: Guardianship is given by the court when it finds an individual legally incompetent.

Coping with Memory Loss

Tips to help you with Activities of Daily Living

  • Post phone numbers in large print by the telephone: include emergency numbers and your address with a description of where you live.
  • Keep a book with you at all times that has
    • Important telephone numbers and addresses including emergency numbers and your own contact information.
    • People's names with their pictures and their relationship to you.
    • Thoughts or ideas you want to hold on to.
    • A map of where your home is.
    • A to-do list of appointments.
  • Label cupboards and drawers with words or pictures showing their contents.
  • Have a friend call to remind you about meal times, appointments, and medications.
  • Set-up automatic bill pay on-line for utilities, telephone, etc.
  • Get an easy-to-read digital clock that displays the time and date.
  • Use pillboxes to help organize medications.

Helpful Websites To Know

Visit the following websites for a directory of services and contacts: