Merrimack Valley Dementia Resource Guide
Treating dementia and diseases such as Alzheimer’s requires a comprehensive approach. For family, the treatment process can be daunting. This resource guide highlights organizations and programs that assist seniors and family caregivers as they face the challenges of confronting dementia.
Alzheimer’s Association: Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter
The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families and professionals and working to find effective treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Massachusetts/New Hampshire is one of over 70 chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association throughout the nation.
Atria Senior Living
Atria Senior Living operates monthly rental apartments for seniors in the Merrimack Valley and throughout the United States. Their approach to memory care includes physical activity, social engagement and individualized care. Atria’s Life Guidance neighborhoods are designed with their residents’ abilities in mind, offering secure indoor and outdoor spaces that allow them to maintain a sense of independence within their environment.
Bridges by EPOCH
Bridges by EPOCH’s proprietary memory care programming was developed with international authorities on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. Every new Bridges resident receives a personalized care plan with programming designed to improve communication between the resident and caregivers, address possible behavioral issues and engage the resident in a joyful and meaningful life of their own design.
Deaconess Abundant Life Communities
Founded in 1889 as New England Deaconess Association, this nonprofit organization has a long history and renowned reputation for providing a broad range of services and cultivating the desire of everyone to age gracefully. Some of the many services include personal care, light housekeeping, bathing and dressing, meal preparation, medication assistance and management, companionship and transportation.
D’Youville Life & Wellness Community
For over 57 years, the Life & Wellness Community has been a part of the physical and cultural landscape of Greater Lowell. Founded in 1960 by the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, the D’Youville has earned the trust of the community and the respect of its peer organizations for providing area seniors with superior care, including specialized Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related care, and assisted living and memory care.
Edgewood is a LifeCare Community offering independent living, health care and support services that empower members to be the architects of their own well-being. For over 20 years, Edgewood has provided its resident members the freedom and security to live the way they choose, on their terms, with a strong voice in day-to-day and future planning. Edgewood also offers a full continuum of senior living options — from independent living and in-home lifestyle assistance, memory support and enhanced living, to health care and support services for older adults.
Element Care is a nonprofit health care organization that provides complete care through the PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) model. The wide array of services for seniors includes complete medical care, physical and occupational therapy and behavioral health and counseling.
Family Caregiver Support Group
Circle Home offers a free family caregiver support group on the second Wednesday of every month. The discussion is facilitated by social workers and addresses the challenges of caregiving. The group is open to anyone caring for someone with any diagnosis.
I’m Still Here Foundation
Founded in 1995, the I’m Still Here Foundation’s (ISHF) mission is to develop and evaluate innovative nonpharmacological approaches for people with cognitive challenges. For the last decade, ISHF has focused on creating and implementing inclusive, community-based arts and culture programming.
LifeLinks Memory Cafe
LifeLinks offers innovative Memory Cafe programming to benefit families affected by memory impairment. The LifeLinks Memory Cafe is a free and held in an informal social setting that brings together people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, their family caregivers and professionals. Participants can openly talk with like-situated people with a goal of creating new, positive memories.
Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services
Mary Immaculate Health/Care Services provide specialized care for those challenged by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. They offer a full continuum of care, ranging from support for independent housing and Marguerite’s House Assisted Living residents to inpatient care provided in Mary Immaculate’s nursing and restorative center. The adult day health program includes a service designed especially for Spanish-speaking elders with memory loss issues.
Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program
The Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program is free and open to adult family members and other nonpaid caregivers of anyone who is living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.
Merrimack Valley Hospice
Merrimack Valley Hospice provides comfort care and palliative services to patients facing life-limiting illnesses. Licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, MVH is an approved provider of care by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance companies. Their Hand-in-Hand Dementia Program is designed to meet the complex needs of patients who have dementia. Services are provided in homes, nursing homes, assisted living residences and hospitals. Additionally, they offer pet therapy with registered therapy animals.
The Neighborhood: Memory Care at Wingate
The Neighborhood offers customized care plans designed to improve quality of life for Wingate residents living with memory-related illnesses. In a Wingate independent living or assisted living community, residents live with the help needed for daily living tasks. Treatment care options include programming for those with advanced dementia, including music therapy.
New Hampshire Family Caregiver Support Program
Through the National Family Caregiver Support Program, the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services and the NH ServiceLink Resource Centers provides services including information about local resources; assistance in assessing individual caregiving needs; individual counseling and access to support groups; education and training; and respite care services. Additionally, some caregivers may be eligible for chore services, assistive equipment, home modifications and transportation. The program is open to caregivers over 18 years of age who caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other related dementia.
In 2004, nonprofit senior living community Nichols Village welcomed its first residents. They traded in their chores and homeowner worries for a maintenance-free and more carefree lifestyle. Together, residents and staff created an environment where a strong sense of community, security and independence are top priorities. Every Friday, residents are treated to visits from a nutritionist who develops meal plans designed to encourage cognitive health.
Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
The Memory Disorders Unit of the Department of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is a specialized outpatient clinic for patients with memory problems.