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Center of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease (CEAD)
at SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Programs

Support groups for Caregivers:

Caregivers meet and discuss ways in which to support the family member with Alzheimer's disease; discussions include: Safe Return Bracelet, enlisting support from family members, ways to hold a family meeting, information about medical and non-traditional approaches such as spirituality, music and art. Caregivers also receive relevant materials and information as to how to nurture themselves.

Media Outreach

Periodically family caregivers and staff are interviewed on radio stations. Interviews have been held in Spanish on Radio Maria, a Hispanic Catholic Radio Program. The media format is used to give a clinical overview on Alzheimer's disease, and the physical and psychological consequences upon the caregiver. Caregivers relate individual experiences, and coping strategies. In addition, publishes newsletters to present updated research information on AD, current news events, and feature articles about gift giving and caregivers.

Patients Activities' Group

An activities' group for Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers is held. Activities include reminiscences / life review, interactive board games (checkers, Connect Four, UN game), bingo, arts and crafts, music and so on. Patients also dialogue with each other. The group also serves as a learning opportunity for home attendants / caregivers who hone their skills on engaging the patient.

Services

Assessment and Diagnosis

All patients receive an initial comprehensive assessment consisting of cognitive assessment, physical, neurological and psychiatric examination, and social service assessment. Caregivers are also interviewed extensively. Services are provided by psychiatrists, neurologists, geriatricians (fellows), and social workers. Patients are sent for laboratory panels and neuroimaging. There are staff who are fluent in Spanish, and Haitian-Creole, Hindi, Artabic, Mandarin, and Russian.

On-going treatment

Patients are seen typically on a 1 to 4 months basis depending on clinical needs. On the follow-up visits, patients are seen by a psychiatrist, geriatrician, and social worker. The social worker provides counseling and education to caregivers, with special emphasis on working with home attendants.

Outreach

• Provides assessments in the homes of patients that cannot come to our center. The outreach team consists of a psychiatrist, social worker, and geriatrician (fellow).

• Offers Telehealth services to conduct follow-up visits using internet services (V-See).

• Conducts educational programs, workshops and health fairs in the community: venues include churches, synagogues, mosques, senior centers, community agencies, housing projects, and homeless shelters.

Training