New tools to help senior mental health

Dan Watson The SCV Senior Center. 112714
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Growing older can bring with it a host of health challenges including mental health conditions like Alzheimer’s, dealing with these conditions can create obstacles for caregivers who treat those affected.

In 2016, approximately 28,000 people went missing in Los Angeles County, many who have complex conditions like autism and Alzheimer’s. To address this, the county created the Bringing Out Loved Ones Home Task Force.

The task force has 60 days to report back to the county with information about devices and training plus the costs of each that can be used to help track and find those who become lost due to cognitive conditions, according to the motion approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

One of the solutions outlined by the motion could be joining Project Lifesaver, a search and rescue program designed to find those at risk of “wandering” due to a cognitive condition, according to the Project Lifesaver website.

Project Lifesaver works by equipping the task force with the technology to track those who wander. The project also supplies training to provide a basic understanding of cognitive conditions, to better understand the behavior of those with these conditions, according to the website.

The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and College of the Canyons will be offering help to those who care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Two family caregivers workshops will be held at the Senior Center on Saturday Mar 24 and Apr 28 from 9 -11 a.m..

The workshops are designed to help train family caregivers in a number of areas. Attendees will learn to understand the conditions, develop strategies to provide care, learn what to do when daily tasks become challenging and connect with resources in the community, according to a press release from the SCV Senior Center.

The workshops will host two presenters, Monique Castillo and Adrianna Guadarrama. Castillo is based at the SCV Senior Center and provides personalized support and help with care planning. Guadarrama serves as the Manager of Education and Outreach for Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles, where she gives presentations on topics related to Alzheimer’s.

To pre-register for the events visit or call (661)362-3118.

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