"Many caregivers -- and their families -- serve in the trenches, daily caring for loved ones with dementia. Our goal is to acquaint them with this program that is designed to address many of the day-to-day challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias."

MRHA Executive Director Melissa Van Dyne

5 Reasons to Participate In the Customized Caregiver Training & Relief Program


The Customized Caregiver Training & Relief Program (CCTRP) offers caregivers assistance navigating the difficulties of caring for someone with dementia.

1. Some 16% of caregivers feel emotionally strained and 26% say taking care of the care recipient is hard on them emotionally.

2. Depressed caregivers are more likely to have coexisting anxiety disorders, substance abuse or dependence, and chronic disease.

3. About one in ten (11%) caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to get worse.

4. Caregivers exhibit exaggerated cardiovascular responses to stressful conditions which put them at greater risk than non-caregivers for the development of cardiovascular syndromes such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

5. Learn tools to reduce stress and navigate emotional changes.

This program is in collaboration with the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Missouri Chapter, Memory Care Home Solutions (MCHS), and the Missouri Rural Health Association (MRHA). 

CCTRP, a two-track program, offers caregivers free care consultations, customized in-home care assessments, and training, tools to reduce stress, improve communication, make home safety improvements, and reimburse up to $700 for qualified respite-related expenses, among other free services. 

CCTRP helps caregivers provide the best quality of life possible for their loved ones, struggling with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, while reducing emotional and financial burdens.

Enrollment in the Caregiver Training Program (Track One) begins with a pre-screening call with an MCHS intake specialist as 314.645.6247. 

To enroll in the Caregiver Relief Program (Track Two), contact the Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900. 

Get More Details About Each Track and Enroll!

Alzheimer's Dressing and Grooming

Helping a person with dementia maintain his or her personal appearance positively impacts self esteem.



Plan plenty of time when dressing or grooming someone with Alzheimer's. Rushing the person can cause anxiety and frustration. As the disease progresses beyond the early stages, choosing and putting on clothes can be frustrating for the person with dementia. The person may not remember how to dress or may be overwhelmed with the choices or the task itself.

To assist:

  • Simplify choices. Keep the closets free of excess clothing. A person may panic if clothing choices become overwhelming. If appropriate, give the person an opportunity to select favorite outfits or colors, but try offering just two choices.
  • Organize the process. Lay out clothing in the order that each item should be put on. Hand the person one item at a time while giving simple, direct instructions such as "Put your arms in the sleeves," rather than "Get dressed."
  • Pick comfortable and simple clothing. Cardigans, shirts and blouses that button in front are easier to work than pullover tops. Substitute Velcro® for buttons, snaps or zippers, which may be too difficult to handle. Make sure that clothing is loose-fitting, especially at the waist and hips, and choose fabrics that are soft and stretchable.
  • Choose comfortable shoes. Make sure the person has comfortable, non-slip shoes.
  • Be flexible. If the individual wants to wear the same outfit repeatedly, buy duplicates or have similar options available. Even if the person’s outfit is mismatched, try to focus on the fact that he or she was able to get dressed. Keep in mind that it is important for the individual to maintain good personal hygiene, including wearing clean undergarments, as poor hygiene may lead to urinary tract or other infections that further complicate care.

It's all right if the person wants to wear several layers of clothing, just make sure he or she doesn't get overheated. When outdoors, make sure the person is dressed for the weather.


A person with dementia may forget how to comb hair, clip fingernails or shave. He or she may forget what the purpose is for items like nail clippers or a comb.

 To assist:

  • Continue grooming routines. If the person has always gone to the beauty shop or a barber, continue this activity. If the experience becomes distressing, it may be possible to have the barber or hairstylist come to the person's home.
  • Use favorite toiletries. Allow the person to continue using his or her favorite toothpaste, shaving cream, cologne or makeup.
  • Perform tasks alongside the person. Comb your hair, and encourage the person to copy your motions.
  • Use safer, simpler grooming tools. Cardboard nail files and electric shavers can be less threatening than clippers and razors.

Learn More

Brandee Evans Celebrates Life By Making Memories with Mom


Caring for my mom, who is living with both Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, is very hard. My mom was always as active as I was, a very independent woman. To have that independence stripped from her breaks my heart, but I never let her see me cry. Today, any time I am faced with a tough situation with Mom, I focus on loving her and caring for her the way she did for me when I was growing up, celebrating every moment we have together, big and small.

One of the top pieces of advice I have for other caregivers is to get certified in CPR first aid training; don’t just think you will be prepared if the situation arises. My mom choked on popcorn at the movies once, and I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver while she was in her wheelchair. Moviegoers around me just looked on, not knowing how to help. Being prepared is something that has often served me well.

Be okay with letting go of your pride. There are people out there who will help you, but if you don't ask for help, you run the risk of breaking down if you don’t take time for yourself. Ask a friend, family member, trusted neighbor or caregiver to take on some caregiving hours so you can go out — even if it is just to sit in your car in a parking lot doing breathing exercises.

Read More

Trouble Managing Money May Be an Early Sign of Dementia


After Maria Turner’s minivan was totaled in an accident a dozen years ago, she grew impatient waiting for the insurance company to process the claim. One night, she saw a red pickup truck on eBay for $20,000. She thought it was just what she needed. She clicked “buy it now” and went to bed. The next morning, she got an email about arranging delivery. Only then did she remember what she’d done.

Turner’s money troubles aren’t unusual among people who are beginning to experience cognitive declines. Long before they receive a dementia diagnosis, many people start losing their ability to manage their finances and make sound decisions as their memory, organizational skills and self-control falter, studies show. As people fall behind on their bills or make unwise purchases and investments, their bank balances and credit rating may take a hit.

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