Citation: Seven Hills Rhode Island. (2017). Intellectual Disability and Dementia: A Caregiver’s Resource Guide for Rhode Islanders. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Seven Hills Rhode Island and the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. For print copies contact: Seven Hills Rhode Island, 30 Cumberland Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895.
Intellectual Disability and Dementia: A Caregiver’s Resource Guide for Rhode Islanders
This guide, while written for families of adults with intellectual disability, is a useful tool for anyone who provides care. Caregivers play an important role in the overall wellness of individuals they support. Our goal is to provide information that will be helpful to anyone who cares for adults with intellectual disability.
As individuals with an intellectual or other developmental disability age, you may see changes that are confusing and upsetting. It can be frightening not knowing what is happening to them or how to best support him or her.
This guide was designed to provide caregivers of individuals with an intellectual disability an overview of dementia, as well as provide information about caregiving and support options available in Rhode Island.
A note about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain which causes a person to lose his or her memory and ability to function. Those losses are termed dementia. Alzheimer’s is not the only cause of dementia – see the glossary at the end for the different causes.
We hope that you will find this guide to be a foundation for your knowledge as we have included some commonly used words and phrases, a basic overview of the disease process, some tips for caregiving, as well as local Rhode Island and national organizations that offer training and services. In no way should this guide take the place of consulting with your loved one’s healthcare provider.
The guide is divided into sections, each with a different focus to aid you on your caregiving journey. You do not need to read this guide from cover to cover, rather it has been written so that you can find information you need related to the questions or concerns you may have at any time during an individual’s journey through dementia.