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Elder Caregiver Support Groups
I have been caregiving for my handicapped parent since I was
a child. In addition to now being elderly, in terrible
physical shape, my mother lives alone. She is determined to
live independently but this requires frequent trips to
southern CA to help her. I am the only child left. She is
too frail to move and I will honor that. She doesn't want
any help, other than minimal. I am frequently her only phone
contact each day. Are there any support groups in existence
for strategies to cope with the stress and worry of caring
for an elderly handicapped parent? She is still safe in her
own home, has all her marbles, but I am just kind of pooped
out between her and caring for my own family. Just want to
listen to how others effectively manage these situations or
if support forums exist.
love my elder but kind of all worn out
Jewish Family & Children's Services here in the East Bay may
have the kind of support groups you are looking for. You
don't need to be Jewish. Judy
Are you UCB staff or faculty?
http://uhs.berkeley.edu/facstaff/care/eldercare/ ''The Elder Care Program,
a part of CARE Services, offers confidential, free
assistance for faculty and staff who are caring for or
concerned about an elder or dependent adult. The CARE
Services Elder Care counselor is available to answer your
questions, help set priorities, refer you to resources and
support you personally.''
My neighbor is caring for her husband who is increasingly incapacitated by
Altzheimer's disease. She is doing it all by herself and I worry about her. He is losing
some gross motor function and she is unable to pick him up when he falls. She has to
try to talk him through the process of standing up! Reading between the lines, I
believe she is also anxious about the impatience she feels towards him; understandable
impatience, but guilt-inducing, I'm sure. She seems to have no source of professional
support or respite care. There must be an organization out there for caregivers and
families of Altzheimer's patients. Can anyone help?
Family Caregiver Alliance is still a great resource for those dealing with
adult onset dementia. My friend Caitlin does "weekend camps" for them...the
patient is sent to an interesting weekend camp so that the caregiver can
have a bit of time off. Caitlin is creative, experienced and caring so I'm
sure her camps are a wonderful experience for those who attend!
Dorothy - San Francisco Public Library
Approximately 50% of caregivers of persons with
alzheimers will become clinically depressed and there
are many resources to help both the caregiver and the
person with the disease. One place to start is the
alzheimer's association. Also, every county has
services geared towards seniors, Alameda and Contra
Costa counties being no exception, and has an
information and referral line which can help find
resources available in the community. You will likely
find this number in the service number pages of your
yellow pages or on the county's website on the
Internet. Most bay area counties have someone, such as
a social worker or nurse, that can come out and assess
the family, any safety issues, and refer them to
helpful resources. There are also some resources
designed to help people with alzheimers continue to
live at home and give their caregivers respite, such
as adult day care. Thanks for your concern for your
neighbors. It sounds like this family is especially
needing help. The fact that he is falling is a huge
safety issue for both of them. It also sounds like
she is being stretched to her limit. Good luck.
To the person looking for help for an Alzheimer's caregiver - the Family
Caregiver Alliance is an excellent place to start. Their website is very
good, at http://www.caregiver.org.
The phone number is 800-445-8106, or
415-434-3388. They run caregiver support groups, and can give lots of
advice and information for caregivers. Good luck to your neighbor.
Call Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay, 644-8292, 2320 Channing Way,
Berkeley. I understand they have a day program for people with
Alzheimer's. I know they have a bus to transport people to and from
home. I don't know if there's a waiting list. I do wish your neighbor
well. I watched my wonderful elderly neighbor nurse her husband through
Parkinson's until he died. She refused all help, except occasionally to
ask my husband to put him back in bed when he fell out. I think older
people often have a hard time asking for or accepting help. Do keep in
touch with her and give her what support you can.
this page was last updated: Apr 3, 2012
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