Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alzheimer Caregiver Support

Here's a short article from CF, hope it helps someone. Samantha. Hello, I am a caregiver. I take care of my mother-in-law. Our town offers Social Respite programs, they are organized by the Council on the Aging. They are wonderful. I can take her up to five times a week from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday-Friday. It gives me time to do the things I need to do during the day. They use elder adults over 50 to interact with them. They feed them lunch, play games, talk about recent and past events, sing, do crafts and play cards. The groups are small, 10 per group, and there is usually 3 to 4 Respite workers per group. The group members care for each other too and even though they all have Alzheimer's, they know and understand each other in a way, we don't understand. Last week my mother-in-law, Rose had a fainting spell. Three of the caregivers called me to ask how she was doing, because the other members asked them to find out how she was doing. Three of the Respite workers also called me. It helps to have a network of people who understand what you are going through. The caregivers (spouses, daughter/son-in-laws, sons/daughters, other relatives) also have a group. We meet two to three times a month, to talk to each other, to help each other and to have someone to talk to who understands what we are going through. We laugh a little, cry a little, eat a lot and have a great time. It helps when you feel like no one understands what you are going through and if you have never taken care of or been around a person with Alzheimer's you wouldn't understand some of the problems that we face everyday. I hope this will help someone who needs a break from taking care of someone with Alzheimer's. I know that these Social Respite Programs and the caregiver groups have been a lifesaver to me.


Mia and Ghost said...

CF - I've had some experience with relatives with Alzheimer's but never had to be primary caregiver. You must be a very strong person to be able to do it - I helped care for my Mother when she was suffering with cancer & I know it is tough but we all do what we have to do to get through it. Wish you & your family the best in dealing with this disease.

Jen (Mia & Ghost's Mom/servant/human)

pks said...

Sis, You are an amazing person. When grandma Duckwall fell to "Dimentia", is what her doctors are calling it, I was booted out of taking care of her. "I'm only a grandchild" is what I was told by the other family members. But the family members taking care of her aren't anything like you. I wanted to be there but now I see so much and don't think I could have done what you have done. You are special, so special. I'm glad you're the oldest. I love you so much. Pam