Faye Richards of Tamarac began to slowly notice that something was happening with her mother, Ruth. The 83-year-old was starting to ask where the kitchen was. However, she was standing in the kitchen inside the home she had lived in for 30 years. The home where she had raised her family, and in the kitchen where she made breakfast, lunch and dinner for her five children for years.
As her mother’s condition continued to worsen, Faye found herself being fearful of leaving her mother home alone. The 53-year-old even started calling off of work. She was having anxiety and starting to feel what she now knows is called “caregiver burnout.”
She didn’t know what to do or where to turn. She had the sneaking suspicion her mother was starting to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Ruth seemed to have many of the signs, like asking the same question and forgetting Faye had just given her the answer, and having a difficult time remembering things.
“I found the number to the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline,” she says, after using the internet to search for “Help For Families With Alzheimer’s.”
Faye says when she called the helpline, she was amazed to find out how much information that she could get, and for free.
She eventually joined a support group, too, for herself, that the hotline recommended and was able to talk to other people who were experiencing similar situations with spouses and parents.
“I had no idea there were all these resources available to me. And, all I had to do was call an 800 number.”
Whether you provide daily care, participate in decision-making or simply care about someone with the disease, help and support are available. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
* Here are some of the resources available:
-1-800-272-3900 Helpline Staffed 24/7
-Caregiver Support Groups
-Early Stage Education Series
-Free Educational Workshops
-Online Community Message Boards
Community Resource Finder: www.communityresourcefinder.org/
Find out more at www.alz.org