You're Not Alone
When a loved one is diagnosed with a brain disease, medical care is only one among many concerns. People often feel overwhelmed by the need to also consider legal planning, end-of-life issues, financial and estate planning, accessible housing arrangements, transportation challenges and long-term care plans, to cite only a few. It’s comforting to know that social workers at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health are here, ready to connect individuals and families to a wide spectrum of helpful community resources.
Most people don’t think about this supportive network until they need it. While it’s never easy to navigate unfamiliar terrain, our social workers are expert guides – and they have some useful tools. For example, the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Compass is a user-friendly chart of community resources available to individuals living with AD and their families.
The chart is shaped like a compass to symbolize its goal of providing direction for patients and caregivers as they feel their way through the darkness and confusion following an AD diagnosis. The suggested contacts and practical advice the compass offers can make an initially crushing situation seem manageable.
The Need for Speed
When it comes to planning for a future overshadowed by a brain disorder, the sooner individuals and families get started, the better. These diseases eventually rob patients of the ability to make decisions about their healthcare, their money, and their personal care. They need to know that resources are available to allow them to participate in planning and decision-making while they still can. We can help.
Sometimes, a newly diagnosed patient is already in an advanced stage of the illness, unable to make decisions. Even in that case, it’s not too late to seek assistance. Support services exist for patients and caregivers alike.
Regardless of which stage a patient is in when decisions are looming, we know it’s not easy. Our social workers are here to help and to coordinate this planning with ongoing medical care.
Connecting With a Social Worker
Would you like to speak with one of our social workers to get more information, have your questions answered or set up an appointment to discuss community resources and referrals? These services are available to patients and families at no cost, thanks to philanthropic support from the community and Keep Memory Alive. Contact Ruth A. Almén, LCSW at 702-483-6054 or FamilyServicesNV@ccf.org.