If you are a caregiver for a person who has dementia, you need all the support that you can get. Luckily, support is available. Here are some resources, and some things that you may be able to do to make your daily life go a little more smoothly.
- Support Groups online. Many online resources exist for caregivers. Social media sites such as Facebook have pages and groups that you can join. Some of these are "private" groups and you will be checked out before you are admitted. This is to allow honesty in posting and prevent advertisers.
- Dementia and Alzheimer's Association. www.alz.org is a treasure trove of information. You can find information about daily care, stages of the disease, free e-learning, a community resource planner and financial planning information.
- Local groups. Your area may have Caregiver's Groups or seminars. For instance, here in The Woodlands, Texas, Interfaith has a Caregiver's Support system which includes monthly learning luncheons, and 2 no-cost conferences a year (the conferences provide care for your loved one if you bring him/her with you). Local hospitals also have support groups that you can attend.
- Private companies and individuals. You may require additional help from private companies or individuals for daily care, respite care, adult day care, legal assistance, financial planning or other needs.
- Your own family, friends, neighbors, and spiritual advisers. Don't neglect asking for help from those close to you. If someone offers help, consider taking it. Offering to sit with your loved one for an hour, cooking a meal for your family, or running an errand for you are small things that can provide great relief.
Above all, don't neglect yourself. In order to help your loved one, you must be healthy!