Barbara Green has taken care of her husband, Dick Green, for 18 years. Her husband was diagnosed with Lewy-Body Dementia in 2000. As her husband’s disease progresses, Barbara’s life evolved immensely.
“I’m like his nurse and caregiver. I have to meet all of his different needs as far as issuing his pills that he takes, to cooking his food, to doing his laundry, to getting him to bed on time, to getting him to doctor’s appointments, things like that. So it’s time consuming, very time consuming,” Green said.
The role of a caregiver is demanding — both physically, mentally and emotionally. Taking care of a loved one takes a lot of time and energy.
Barbara Green turns to the Naples Senior Center which provides her with the support she needs to help take care of her husband.
“Every quarter, we host a four-hour bootcamp for caregivers,” said Jaclynn Faffer, CEO of the Naples Senior Center. The bootcamp provides tips on how to best take care of patients who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
According to Alzheimer’s Association, caregivers should also make it a point to take care of themselves. If you’re taking care of someone with dementia, the association suggests you visit your doctor regularly and pay attention to any exhaustion.
Additional resources for caregivers includes:
Information and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Operates a 24/7 helpline and offers care navigator tools.
The government’s free information resource about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center
Find programs and services that allow caregivers to get a break from caring for a loved one.
Caregiver Action Network
Formerly known as the National Family Caregivers Association, it provides information and education for family caregivers, including a volunteer support network in over 40 states.
Community Resource Finder
Easy access to a comprehensive listing of Alzheimer’s and dementia resources, community programs and services.
Connects caregivers to local services and resources for older adults and adults with disabilities across the United States.
Family Caregiver Alliance
Information, education and services for family caregivers, including the Family Care Navigator, a state-by-state list of services and assistance.
Hospice Foundation of America
Provides information on issues related to hospice and end-of-life care
Provides information about the parts of Medicare, what’s new and how to find Medicare plans, facilities or providers.
National Alliance for Caregiving
A coalition of national organizations focused on family caregiving issues.
National Institute on Aging Information Center
Research leader on aging issues; information on common age-related health problems.
The National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care Information
Information and tools to plan for future long-term care needs.
Social Security Administration
Information on retirement and disability benefits, including how to sign up.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program
A program that offers one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families.
Support and services for families caring for veterans. Maintains a VA caregiver support line.
Well Spouse Association
Provides support for spousal caregivers.
Reporting by Anna Kohls