043033 UC Ingalls Mental Health Awareness Month Ad Reoirter
SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Learning to cope and assist loved ones dealing with memory loss

alzheimers presentation photo 4 11 Photo by Kelly White

Patricia M. McClure-Chessier offered personal insight into how to interact with people who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia during a presentation called, “How to Care for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease” recently at Grace Point Place in Oak Lawn. She is the author of “Losing a Hero to Alzheimer’s: The Story of Pearl” and “A Caregiver’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia”.

By Kelly White

Alzheimer’s is a brain diseasethat causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. It can unfortunately alter lifestyles and relationships for everyone involved.

“Compassion, living in the moment, being patient and flexible and not taking things personally are most important when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Patricia M. McClure-Chessier, the award-winning author of “A Caregiver’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia.” “Hearing that diagnosis can be scary, but it is important to remember that there is life after the diagnosis.”

McClure-Chessier offered personal insight into how to interact with people who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia through a presentation called, “How to Care for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease” on March 2 at Grace Point Place, 5701 W. 101st St., Oak Lawn.

Her experience hit close to home. She was the sole caregiver for her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“I am so passionate about this because it is my own personal journey that I went through,” McClure-Chessier said.

McClure-Chessier earned her education at Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Keller Graduate School of DeVry University, where she obtained master’s degrees in business administration and public administration with concentration in healthcare administration. As an author, educator, healthcare professional, and speaker, McClure-Chessier has helped others pave the way understanding Alzheimer’s for years. Her first published book, “Losing a Hero to Alzheimer’s: The Story of Pearl,” was a first-place winner in the Aging/Senior Living and Relationships categories and an Honorable Mention winner in the Biography/Memoir category at the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards.

She is employed at Streamwood Behavioral Healthcare Hospital at a Healthcare Executive Teamleader. She has been in the healthcare field for over 25 years and her professional experience includes caring for people with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses and the geriatric population.

During her presentation at Grace Point Place, McClure-Chessier discussed common pitfalls for those caring with Alzheimer’s, including how to avoid power struggles and share additional strategies on how to prevent burn out and be effective in handling challenging situations, for example if a person exhibits unwelcome behaviors.

“It’s important for caregivers to recognize the person is not the same and the disease has caused the person to act differently and respond differently,” McClure-Chessier said.”We cannot hold them to who they use to be.”

She highlighted the nine points of care-giving, including: accepting and treasuring the relationship you once had; not taking anything personal; avoiding stress; practicing patience; avoiding awkward encounters; maintaining a good quality of life; living in the moment; avoiding power struggles; and not focusing on what others are not doing.

“Everyone can’t be a caregiver, but we can all participate in care-giving,” McClure-Chessier said. “Help the person have the best quality of life that they can. There is still more life to enjoy.”

She stressed those living with Alzheimer’s should still engage in society, keep active social lives (if applicable), and be treated and respected as the adults that they are. She emphasized a caregiver should remain flexible, respond to emotion not behavior, and look for reasons behind each behavior while never arguing.

“Those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia were able to benefit from reinforcement that they are not alone in their situation and that there are proven strategies for better communicating with, understanding, and caring for those with the disease,” said Meredith Morris, director of community relations at Grace Point Place. “Hopefully, they will leave with some fresh ideas they can apply in their own situations.”

Grace Point Place is a memory care community for senior citizens living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The facility currently houses 35 residents.

Grace Point Place hosts one educational event a month on some aspect of memory loss or caring for a person with dementia.

The free educational event was open to the general public, and attendees left with a better understanding about the disease in general. They learned how to communicate effectively, and how to handle unwanted behaviors and challenging situations when a person is non compliant with their active daily living skills. Attendees also learned how to be effective with a limited support system.

“It is critical to realize that the behaviors associated with dementia are forms of communication,” Morris said. “The person with dementia is trying to communicate what he or she needs or feels. It is on us, as caregivers, to get to know the backgrounds, preferences and routines of the people we care for so that we can better interpret each individual’s means of expression and provide them with what they need to feel a sense of joy, comfort, and love.”

Local News

Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady talks with a recruiter at last fall’s job fair. (File photo)

Orland Township to host summer job fair June 7

From staff reports Orland Township will host its Summer Job Fair on Tuesday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Orland Township Activity Center, 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park. The fair is open to all members of the public, and attendance is highly encouraged. Nearly 30 companies will be attending, representing…

John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 25, 2022

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 8.23.03 AM

New ward map OKed

Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady talks with a recruiter at last fall’s job fair. (File photo)

Orland Township to host summer job fair June 7

From staff reports Orland Township will host its Summer Job Fair on Tuesday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Orland Township Activity Center, 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park. The fair is open to all members of the public, and attendance is highly encouraged. Nearly 30 companies will be attending, representing…

John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound May 25, 2022

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 8.23.03 AM

New ward map OKed

Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

DVN Damar Kaminski Funeral Home House Ad
Regional Bennett Auto Rebuilders House Ad