History of the Alzheimer's Caregiver® Encyclopedia
The history of The Alzheimer’s Caregiver® Encyclopedia is largely the history of Thomas Elin, President and CEO of LightBridge Healthcare Research, Inc., authors (or producers) of The Alzheimer’s Caregiver® and his unwavering commitment to serving both individuals with Alzheimer’s disease caregiving.
From Personal Story…
In 1986, Thomas Elin’s father passed away and his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She eventually was placed in a nursing home. During one of her lucid moments, she mused with her son about a care facility like her home with kind staff, well-appointed rooms, and welcoming arms. Thomas made his mother’s request his life’s mission. In 1986, he embarked on the creation of Villa Serena, assisted living facilities dedicated solely to Alzheimer’s care, in affiliation with various universities around the country.
To Professional Caregiving…
The Villa Serena concept evolved into one of the finest Alzheimer’s care programs in the country. Mr. Elin has had to deal with the constant merging of academic research with hands on Alzheimer’s care in practical terms rather than theoretical long term studies. Having understood the need to create a bridge between specialized patient care and scientific research and education, the Villa Serena facilities were designed to also house a university research center in the form of a dementia clinic. In addition to teaching theories to professional caregivers and Alzheimer’s families in classrooms, Elin and his colleagues spent years gaining day-to-day hands-on care experience, dealing with issues faced by real people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Elin, along with Catherine Harris, now ARRF’s Senior Consultant, worked tirelessly on the frontlines tending to the behavioral, emotional, financial, physical, and mental well being of Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers and their families. They had a hand in every aspect of running a care center from training professional caregivers and handling Alzheimer’s behavioral problems to consoling devastated families and dealing with severe staffing shortages.
Connecting Both Worlds…
In 2000, the team decided to turn from the small population of Villa Serena residents and transform their years of experience into a multi-media home caregiver training program, thereby opening it up to the broader worldwide audience of caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver® was developed with the goal of empowering in-home caregivers with the skills and knowledge required to better serve their loved ones’ needs. Numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging were received to help fund the research which led to the development of The Alzheimer’s Caregiver®. Mr. Elin and his management team continue to cultivate relationships with universities to both promote and obtain cutting-edge research being conducted in the area of dementia and Alzheimer’s care.
The Alzheimer’s Research and Resource Foundation (ARRF) takes great pride in the distribution of The Alzheimer’s Caregiver® Encyclopedia to those who need it the most as it is truly a modern legacy to the memory of Tom Elin’s mother.