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.'' michael
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. Jeanine
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. Louise