Feb 8, 2011

Alzheimer's Respite Care Bank

We all know how banks work. You deposit your money in the bank, and when you need it you write a check or use your ATM card to get some money in hand...
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I wonder how many Alzheimer's caregivers had the same or a similar thought. A national respite care bank.

We all know how banks work. You deposit your money in the bank, and when you need it you write a check or use your ATM card to get some money in hand.

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How about a national program where you could bank your time by providing respite care for one or more persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease; and then, when you need some rest you could go to the bank and make a withdrawal.

Here is a simple version of what I am envisioning.

Let's say I agree to take two persons suffering from Alzheimer's for four hours a week. I add them to my group of one, Dotty, and arrange some type of activity. Lets say I'll take my group of three to the movies. Or, to Mc Donalds for lunch and a walk.

Or we could simplify matters. Let say the two Alzheimer's patients are delivered by their Alzheimer's caregiver to our home, and I arrange a few activities in house for the 2- 4 hour period.

In this example, I agree to watch and entertain two persons with Alzheimer's for 4 hours. At the end of the 4 hour period, I now have 8 hours of respite care in the bank.

This program would require some organization. However, I am not suggesting that the government get involved. You know, we need to learn how to do some things for ourselves. Besides, if the government or the Alzheimer's organizations were going to help they would already be doing this or something similar.

My first thought is that we could arrange this through our churches. No doubt someone(s) would need to volunteer to do the scheduling and keep track of the scheduling. Now that I think of it, the church might be able to provide some space where we could use round tables for a sing along, or some sort of activity of this nature.

We could control the numbers by limiting the ratio to two Alzheimer's patients to one Alzheimer's caregivers. A two to one ratio. The caregiver would be required to take part in the activity, and stay nearby the Alzheimer's patients at all time. They would need to actively participate.

Alzheimer's caregivers like to complain. They like to complain that the government or some association is not doing enough.

Maybe we should start thinking about taking control of our own lives.

It is clear to me, here, that Alzheimer's caregivers do have a natural affinity for one another. We like, admire, and respect each other.

I am now imagining what I might do with my 8 hours of respite care that are in the bank.

Hmm, the possibilities are endless.

Maybe some of the support group facilitators or moderators could take this idea into their groups and discuss it. Then come back and tell us about the reaction they receive.

Then, we can discuss the concept and disabuse those that will automatically conclude that this could never work that in fact it could and can work.

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