Many times they are looking for some kind of caregiver support or programs that are available to help them care for a person living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.
Depending on where you live services and programs can vary widely. The only effective way to combat this is to go direct to the already existing agencies or non-profits who deal with problems every day.
Here are 3 suggestions.
1. Area Agency on Aging
In order to locate your local Area Agency on Aging go to this link - Area Agency on Aging
If you don't know what to ask start this way. Ask if they have any caregiver support programs. When available these programs are really helpful to caregivers and are free of charge. I would suggest you check this out regardless of your current circumstance.
You can also ask if there are any specific programs designed to help elders living with Alzheimer's. In some cases you might find that there is financial support available for Adult Day Services (adult day care). I highly recommend checking into this.
While caring for my mom, Dotty, I found that the AAA has a wealth of information at their finger tips. So this was always my number one go to call.
Please consider making contact with them and learning more about what they can and might be able to do for you.
2. National Institute on Health
The National Institute on Health (Alzheimer's), and specifically, the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) offer a wealth of information for seniors and persons living with dementia.
You can visit the website; or, if you need help right now you call them direct on an 800 number that is provided on the website.
Here is a good example of the kinds of information you can find. Ever think about setting up an Advance Directive for you our you loved one? This 3 minute video is very informative. The video includes the use of the PULSE form. The video also alludes to a directive called - Allow Natural Death - might be recognized by your hospital.
Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.
3. Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers (ADRC)
There are a number of ADRCs located around the country.
If you live near one, I would strongly suggest you call them. If you are having a medical problem or behavioral problem with your loved one that seems our of the ordinary - I would suggest contacting the ADRC.
Most often the ADRC is attached to a major University. This means they have lots of collaboration between doctors, scientists, and the caregiver community.
It can't hurt to call them and discuss any services or any research they are conducting on an ongoing basis. You might be surprised to learn they can help; and if they can't, they might help send you in the right direction.
I often receive emails asking me if I think it is time for Hospice. Usually, this is impossible for me to know because I am not on the scene, and also, because I am not a doctor.
Here is the deal. If you are thinking you might need Hospice it is time to call them direct. When you call you will find that they have a well experienced person that can talk to you, walk you through the process, and patiently answer every question you might have.
If they have an available service they will tell you, and tell you how to proceed.
I strongly recommend calling Hospice whether you need them today or not. They will educate you now, and when the times comes you will know what to do.
Local Hospices often offer informational seminars to educate the public and dispel myths about the role of Hospice in palliative care.
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