Duke Dementia Family Support Program’s

Upcoming Support Group Dates 

We’re still here for you! Our team is working remotely to offer education, consultation and support. So don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone. 

All of our support groups, with the exception of Memory Makers, are meeting using Zoom, where participants can connect by video or telephone on a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC. We will email support group participants with details about meetings, including directions for using Zoom and increased frequency of monthly meetings. If you have not previously participated in a support group, but are interested in joining now, please contact the appropriate staff member listed below.

Flat Calendar Icon | Calendar icon, Calendar logo, Calendar designDuke Dementia Morning Caregivers: Tuesday, October 20 & November 10 at 10:30 a.m., contact Bobbi for info, 919-660-7508

Flat Calendar Icon | Calendar icon, Calendar logo, Calendar designYounger-Onset: Tuesday, October 27 & November 10 at 7 p.m., contact Janeli if joining for the first time, 919-660-7565

Flat Calendar Icon | Calendar icon, Calendar logo, Calendar designDaughters: Wednesday, October 21 & November 4 at 12 p.m., contact Bobbi for info, 919-660-7509

Flat Calendar Icon | Calendar icon, Calendar logo, Calendar designDuke Dementia Evening Caregivers: Thursday, October 29 & November November 12 at 6:30 p.m., contact Natalie for info, 919-660-7542

Flat Calendar Icon | Calendar icon, Calendar logo, Calendar designPLWD Group: Monday, October 26 & November 16 at 11:00 a.m. contact Janeli or Natalie for info, 919-660-7542 

While it’s preferred to meet face-to-face, we are grateful that technology allows us to continue to connect with each other.

Stay Well,

Bobbi, Lisa, Janeli & Natalie

Keep Reading (Below Activities) for Information on Living with Dementia During COVID-19

Staying Engaged While Social Distancing

In an effort to make your day a little brighter, we’ve started collecting activity ideas to do at home and are posting them on our website and Facebook page. We’re aiming for activities that will stimulate discussion, encourage reminiscing, get you moving, or simply bring joy. From links to concerts, museum tours or live dance classes; to directions for craft projects, instructions for memory boxes or conversation prompts, we hope to add some fun to your day.

Check back regularly for new ideas. Enjoy!

Bobbi, Lisa, Janeli and Natalie

Residential Long-Term Care During COVID-19

Wednesday, October 28th from 1-2PM

October’s Caregiver Connections webinar will focus on the challenges of long-term care during the pandemic.

  • Current visitation restrictions
  • What to consider before moving into long-term care during Covid
  • Rights of residents in long-term care
  • What are long-term care ombudsmen and how they can help families
  • How ombudsmen have responded to Covid

Our Speakers:

Lauren Zingraff, MSW is the Executive Director at Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the quality of life for individuals who receive long-term care in North Carolina.

Kim Johnson is the Senior Long-Term Care Ombudsman at Piedmont Triad Area Agency on Aging where she works to ensure that long-term care facility residents and their families have a voice.

Can’t attend the live event? Don’t worry, all Caregiver Connections webinars are recorded and links to presentations will be available on this page, along with any mentioned handouts and information on upcoming events.

Click on this link to access the Zoom presentation the day of the event. OR call in by dialing 1-929-205-6099

Meeting ID: 851 9096 6454
Password: 3513

Want to share the event flyer? Click here.

Come Sing with Us! 

Did you miss any of our music programs or want to listen again? Just go to our Facebook page and look for past live videos and enjoy! You don’t need a Facebook account to watch. Choose from old movie songs with Sam Marion, bluegrass, Broadway tunes from local high school students, jazz and more!

Activities to do with Your Loved One who has Dementia

The 2014 book, “Activities to do with Your Parent who has Alzheimer’s Dementia,” written by an occupational therapist, is filled with easy activities you can do at home. This is a good choice for anyone caring for someone (not just parents) with dementia who is looking for very basic suggestions. Check out the table of contents to get ideas.

Festive Fall Activities

Enjoy these projects with your loved one while social distancing. Print out seasonal coloring pages, create fall-themed decorations, or try some no-bake pumpkin cheesecake. There’s also a link to purchase a 36-piece nature puzzle designed for adults living with dementia. 

The Best Live Animal Feeds from Around the World

Research shows that watching footage of them can make you happier, so here’s a list of round-the-clock camera footage that will bring koalas, penguins and puppies straight to your screen. We hope these animal videos will be engaging for your family members living with dementia.

It’s Fat Bear Week!

They may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but despite the weight they are carrying, these burly beasts can still run faster than most humans. These brown bears’ power of packing on the pounds gets them through the winter and able to live to compete another year. Learn more about Fat Bear Week at the National Park website or just enjoy watching the bears at Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Caregiver Connections: Medicaid: Assistance with Long Term Services and Supports

September’s Caregiver Connections webinar will focus on covering the complex and ever-evolving system that is Medicaid. Topics to be covered during this presentation include:

• General Medicaid Overview • Personal Care Services • Long Term Care • Special Assistance • Community Alternative Program/Disabled Adults • Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly • Special Assistance In Home

Tracy Gregory, Long-Term Care Medicaid Supervisor Tracy Gregory is an Adult Medicaid Supervisor with Wake County Human Services. She supports Wake County families by working to apply them to available county and federal Medicaid programs that can offer supplemental assistance to those with limited income and/or resources.


Enjoy a virtual window into the world of hummingbirds. This West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam allow us to watch dozens of species of hummingbirds feasting at 30 feeders in the mountains of Fort Davis Texas. 

30 Minutes of Virtual Skywatching on Tuesday Mornings 

Join the Morehead Planetarium educators every Tuesday at 10 a.m. via Zoom to learn about upcoming celestial happenings and other astronomy-related topics like how to identify constellations, measuring distances between objects in the sky and more. 

Bingocize® for your Body, Mind and Spirit!

Bingocize® is a health promotion program that combines the game of bingo with fall prevention exercises (seated or standing). ZOOM with the Durham Center for Senior Life from your own home. Register by September 3. See flyer for details.

Move for Memory Virtual Group Fitness Classes

This class is intended for people with memory impairment to participate with their caregiver in fun and simple exercises. The exercises incorporate movements that can improve daily activities and general mobility. Group exercise will be approximately 40 minutes, followed by a time to answer questions. Exercises can be performed standing or seated.
Mondays, 10-11 am, August 31 – November 23. Register for Mondays here.
Wednesdays 10-11:00 am, September 2 – November 25. Register for Wednesdays here.

Offered by our Asheville friends at MemoryCare. Email education@memorycare.org or call 828-771-2219 with questions.

Tai Chi to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

If you’ve never tried Tai Chi, start with this short video. The instructor will guide you through gentle and relaxing movements with a beautiful body of water in the background. Breathe in, slow down….

Virtual Movement for the Mind

Check out these exercise videos from Alzheimer’s Support, a dementia organization in England. The videos range from very gentle movement to more active exercises.

Live Views from the Georgia Aquarium

Sea otters, penguins, jellyfish and more! Visit your favorite marine creatures through webcams at one of the world’s largest aquatic exhibits.

Beat the Heat and Walk at Home!

The Walk at Home series offers workouts that make exercising in your own home fun and easy. Choose videos ranging from 10-45 minutes. Recommended by Stacie, whose mother enjoys the movement and stimulation.

“Webinar” Legal Issues for Family Caregivers During a Pandemic

Presented by Jonathan Williams, JD, Clarity Law

July’s Caregiver Connections discusses issues that are important for dementia family caregivers at any time. During the pandemic legal documents become more essential as caregivers are asking themselves, “What will happen to my loved one if I get sick?” This webinar will include an overview of health care planning, planning for incapacity, wills, and trusts and powers of attorney.

Go to Caregiver Connections for the video presentation and PowerPoint slides.

Need a Change of Scenery?13 Virtual Train Rides From Around the World

Enjoy beautiful landscapes from Colorado’s Pikes Peak to a Japanese countryside as you travel virtually with these relaxing videos. Hop aboard!

Recliner Radio

Radio Recliner is a new online radio station run by residents stuck in their rooms at senior living communities across the country. New shows at noon every day. Music includes favorites from Elivs and Johnny Cash to the Stones and Pink Floyd. Call 855-863-0050 to dedicate a song to someone you’re missing, whether it’s a resident, a family member, a friend, or a staff member! You can also sign up to be a Resident DJ.

Come Sing with Us!

Join us and 4 talented high school students as they perform some songs from Broadway musicals via our program’s Facebook Live page. This is our second music program and we are excited to showcase these students and their vocal talents so spread the word and plan to join us tomorrow!

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and watch the event. If you’ve clicked on the link and don’t see the live video, reload the browser, the show will begin promptly at 4PM.

Seated Tai Chi for Seniors: 3 Simple Routines Improve Flexibility and Well-Being

Tai chi is a gentle exercise that improves balance and reduces fall risk. Check out tai chi with these three short videos for beginners.

“Webinar” Making the Difficult Decisions in Dementia Care Presented by Beth Spencer, MA, LMSW

This presentation addresses the myriad of challenging decisions that occur across the trajectory of the disease. Topics to be covered include driving, managing money, paying bills, handling medications, safety alone and moving.

Beth Spencer, a geriatric social worker with masters’ degrees in social work, educational gerontology and English, has worked in the field of aging for 50 years, specializing in caregiving and dementia care.

Go to Caregiver Connections for the video presentations, PowerPoint slides and handouts.

Clap Your Hands, Tap Your Feet, or Sing Along!

Enjoy 30 minutes of jazz, blues and pop classics with Nashville musician Richard Griffin. Sing along to favorites such as, “King of the Road,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brain, and “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey.” 

Caregiver Connections: Educational Webinars

We are proud to offer a new virtual program to address some of the challenges dementia family caregivers may face any day, but which may be amplified by staying at home during the pandemic. We are partnering with experts in the fields of caregiving and dementia from clinical social workers, to occupational therapists, renown published authors and more!

Old Time Radio

Listen to radio shows from the ’40s, 50s and ’60s. The archive includes favorites such as, “Gunsmoke,” Father Knows Best,” “Martin & Lewis,” and “Dragnet.” “Brought to you by America’s favorite coffee, Maxwell House — good to the last drop.”

Rissi Palmer Community Event 

Did you miss the community event on 5/21? Don’t worry, click here to view the pre-recorded event fearing local artist Rissi Palmer. 

Pilates & Yoga for Parkinson’s (or anyone else) – Movement While Sitting in a Chair

Poe Wellness Solutions and The Parkinson’s Movement Initiative have very generously created Pilates and yoga for Parkinson’s videos. Visit the webpage for the videos here

Hang Out With Some Elephants

You’re watching the live cam at San Diego Zoo. Be sure to scroll below the video to be introduced to the herd — from Kaia, who was born in 2018 weighing 281 pounds, to Swazi, the dominant female in the herd who weighs a whopping 6,800 pounds.

Durham Medical Orchestra

Duke’s Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant leads health care professionals and students—from their homes across Durham County—in a performance of a new piece by Durham composer Steven Bryant. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tune into a webcam and be delighted by the antics of the sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of the jellies. 

Music for Seniors – Sing-along Favorites with Shawn Pody

As he sings some Elvis Presley, a little Johnny Cash and some well-known gospel songs. Music for Seniors connects Nashville-area musicians with older adults through live and interactive music programs designed to engage, entertain and educate.

All Aboard!

Live 24/7 train camera gives you the train driver’s view from the comfort of home.

Craft Activities

Engage your loved one’s creative side by making simple crafts together. Each activity comes with a video demonstration and suggestions about how to guide loved ones living with early, moderate or late stage dementia.


Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH, offers workout videos to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life. Great options during the pandemic or anytime!

Some Good News

John Krasinski, starred in The Office as Jim, offers a different twist on the news. He is telling Some Good News on Facebook and his YouTube channel! This is a news channel we can all endorse!

WEBINAR: Engagement in a Time of Quarantine Part I & II

This webinar is part of a newly-developing series from the TimeSlips Creative Storytelling team. Join MacArthur Fellow and TimeSlips Founder/President Anne Basting, PhD., as she shares additional avenues to connect while observing social distancing.

Click on the link to see Part I: https://vimeo.com/401431835

Click on the link to see Part II: https://youtu.be/0AJEV0Tzf1s 

Carolina Ballet Performances

The Carolina Ballet is sharing different past performances each week. Enjoy!

Blast Off!

Browse NASA’s Image and Video Library for recent, historic and the most popular images, audio files and videos. The search feature allows you to easily find favorites, such as the flight of Apollo 11 — the first Moon landing in 1969.

Virtual ‘Love Sweet Love’ From Quarantined Berklee College of Music Students

Check out this recent video performance of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song “What the World Needs Now” by students at Berklee College of Music that has gone viral.

A Kaleidoscope of Orchids

Enjoy this 21-minute virtual tour of the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show. The tour features spectacular colors, soothing music and explanations from the Garden’s senior orchid curator. 

Get Out Your Dancing Shoes

Check out these “Dance for PD” classes for free online though the Mark Morris Dance Company. While designed for people with Parkinson’s, the movements are gentle, easy to follow and accompanied by lovely music — a treat that anyone can enjoy. Scroll down to the archive and start with the “intro taster class.” 

Create a Memory Box

A memory or rummage box can help your older adult feel connected to their past career and previous hobbies. Get any kind of box and fill it with things they would have used at work, copies of photos and non-important keepsakes, or objects from hobbies.

If the person used to do handy work, put nuts, bolts, pvc pipe pieces and fittings, a piece of wood (no splinters), fine grit sandpaper, and twine in their box. This can work for any type of job or hobby, just be creative about finding objects that will be safe to handle.

From: https://dailycaring.com/activities-for-people-with-dementia-10-fun-no-fail-ideas/

To learn more about the benefits of memory boxes, along with tips for making them, read this article.

Living With Dementia During COVID-19

Nursing Home Families Yearn to Visit Loved Ones Again
Struck hard by the pandemic, long-term and assisted living facilities shut their doors to outsiders. Many still have not reopened.

What to Consider Before Moving a Parent Into Assisted Living During COVID-19
Key questions to ask in a very concerning time

Parent with Dementia Interrupts Working from Home
Check out one of our favorite columnist’s advice on how to cope with a clingy parent when trying to work from home.

Talking To a Parent with Dementia Who Is In Lock Down Due to Covid-19
In this video dementia expert Teepa Snow uses role play to explain what to tell your parent about why you cannot visit right now. Thanks to care partner Louise K. for bringing this video to our attention.

As COVID-19 Lurks, Families Are Locked Out Of Nursing Homes. Is It Safe Inside?
“Families are beset by fear and anxiety as COVID-19 makes inroads at nursing homes across the country, threatening the lives of vulnerable older adults.” Read what experts suggest families can do in this article, and be sure to check out the decision aid toward the end of the article.

Seniors with COVID-19 Show Unusual Symptoms
Doctors Say Brief helpful explanation of why older adults are at greater risk from COVID-19, and why it’s important to be alert to and seek medical evaluation for common but atypical early symptoms.

COVID-19, Alzheimer’s and Dementia: What You Need to Know
Resources and tips about the coronavirus pandemic for people living with dementia, caregivers, and families from the Alzheimer’s Association

Caregiving and Coronavirus: Tips for Caregivers
An easy-to-read guide on how to plan and prepare for infection.

Balancing Work and Elder Care Through the Coronavirus Crisis
Helpful tips for those who are juggling work and elder care in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

How to Support Older Relatives During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Cathleen Colón-Emeric, MD, chief of Duke’s Division of Geriatrics offers advice about important conversations and practical strategies for supporting older family members during COVID-19. And check out the side-bar for some suggestions for activities from our team.

Guidance on making the decision to move a loved one out of long-term care due to the coronavirus pandemic from medical experts, based partly on their own experiences.
PPA (Primary Progressive Aphasia) makes it tough to understand and express questions or fears about COVID-19. Dr. Mesulam from Northwestern and AFTD (Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration) suggests brief strategies and resources for families to ease communication.
Disruptions in routines and the need for hands-on care are among the special challenges for dementia patients and their caregivers. 

The Duke Dementia Family Support Program is…

Your source for help with Alzheimer’s, memory disorders, and elder care decisions. The Duke Dementia Family Support Program serves families and professionals concerned about or caring for persons with memory disorders in North Carolina, and Duke employees seeking help with elder care decisions.