Georgia Southern University Statesboro’s on-campus psychology clinic will provide free dementia screenings and psychotherapy for caregivers through a $ 10,000 donation from Rockin ‘Out Alzheimer’s Disease (ROAD). The services will be provided in person and virtually.
“Caring for loved ones is stressful,” said Amy Luna, director of the psychology clinic. “I often refer to the title of the book The 36 hour day to highlight the needs placed on caregivers, many of whom are intergenerationally spaced, which means they could provide care for the elderly and their children or grandchildren at the same time. “
Recipients of psychotherapy will meet weekly or biweekly with a therapist doctoral student enrolled in the second year of Georgia Southern’s Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. Therapist students perform under the supervision of Luna, who is also a licensed psychologist.
“Psychotherapy can help alleviate distress by offering strategies to help others cope with challenges and thrive in the face of adversity,” Luna said. “Telemedicine is a great resource for those concerned about spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable populations such as the elderly as it minimizes contact with others.”
Dementia screenings will be offered during this semester. Luna said it’s important to find dementia in a patient as soon as possible.
“Early diagnosis of dementia is important, as the progression of the disease can be stopped or slowed down with medical intervention, depending on the type of dementia,” he said. “Dementia occurs regardless of the pandemic state; therefore, services should be sought when symptoms are detected. “
The in-person and virtual options are projections only, so no diagnosis will be provided. However, in-person screening will be more thorough than online screening. If a patient needs internet access or a webcam, the psychology clinic will provide a tablet and hotspot for those without the required technology.
“Because the services are free, this opportunity is ideal for those who don’t have health insurance or for those whose health insurance is difficult to access due to the cost,” Luna said.
ROAD is committed to raising and distributing funds that directly affect Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Southeast Georgia. The organization has partnered with CBSS, as well as other areas in southern Georgia and surrounding communities, to raise funds and provide services in the past.
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (CBSS) Dean Ryan Shroeder said the opportunities offered by the ROAD donation are directly in line with the college’s service mission.
“CBSS’s mission is to use our experience to make a real impact on our communities,” said Schroeder. “The dementia screening program is a perfect example of the college’s mission, as we are using our college dementia and aged care expertise to positively impact our communities.”