Page 2 - Heart of Hoag December 2014
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Alzheimer’s Family Services Center Radiates
Love and Compassion
Patients’ health, families’ peace of mind are center’s guidepost
The Alzheimer’s Family Services Center in Huntington Beach has long been known as a
lively place radiating love and compassion, where participants and their families know they will always receive outstanding care and support. Teryn Clarke, M.D., has discovered that it’s a pretty remarkable place for its medical director, too.
When Dr. Clarke became the medical director of the center in July 2014, the board-certified Hoag neurologist said her new role gave her a deeper appreciation for the social, psychological and day- to-day hardships her patients and their families confront as they grapple with this debilitating disease.
“It has given me tremendous insight into the struggles that families have in caring for a loved one, struggles they may not feel comfortable discussing within the four walls of a medical center,” said Dr. Clarke, who had long been a referring physician to the center. “I was honored when they approached me [about becoming the medical director] because I knew it would allow me to interact with the families and provide care from the community and family side.”
From home safety to the importance of caregivers having a bit of respite, Dr. Clarke said the Alzheimer’s Family Services Center addresses the kinds of issues physicians rarely hear about. The center’s work helps families navigate the disease and complements the outstanding medical care provided at Hoag.
“The main goal is helping families keep their loved ones at home longer
and prevent premature institutionalizations,”
Dr. Clarke said.
Funded in part by the Hoag Community Benefit Program, the Alzheimer’s Family Services Center provides individualized care through full-day programs of stimulating, therapeutic activities, and services that are available to people in all stages of dementia one to five days a week.
Participants also receive individualized assessment and care planning; service coordination that can include everything from financial advice to meal delivery; and medical oversight.
It is in the medical oversight area where Dr. Clarke is most active, working with the center’s team to monitor each participant’s health and medication regimen. She said she is impressed with how well center staff work with participants’ physicians to give each person a truly comprehensive level of care.
“They really have thought of every way possible
to support the participants and their families,” she said. “It is really helpful for people to know that their loved one is in a stimulating environment where they are well taken care of beyond what anyone could do all day at home. It is amazing what they do.”
Dr. Teryn Clarke, a board-certified neurologist affiliated with Hoag.

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