Primary Caregivers

Dementia: Is this Dementia and What Does it Mean?

Introduction

What does it mean when someone is said to have dementia? For some people, the word conjures up scary images of “crazy” behavior and loss of control. In fact, the word dementia describes a group of symptoms that includes short-term memory loss, confusion, the inability to problem-solve, the inability to complete multi-step activities such as preparing a meal or balancing a checkbook, and, sometimes, personality changes or unusual behavior.

“Hello, I must be going…”

“Hello, I must be going…” read the note addressed to me and taped to the door of Allan Reiff's office in the Philosophy/Humanities Department at our local community college. The year was 1983, and little did I know then, the dark truth hidden in those seemingly light-hearted words; the man I would eventually marry would be taken from me all too soon by the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Transferring Mom was New, But Restlessness and Inactivity Kindled her Agitation

Our family equation for caregiving developed slowly, over five rigorous years following our father's death. Two sisters and I divide the year into three, with each caregiving our 85 year-old mother four months. Mom spends summer on Kauai. 

My first summer with Mom was clumsy. Not clumsy like, "Oops, I tripped over a crack . . ." clumsy like a caffeinated circus performer juggling 14 greased kittens─ridiculous, slightly hazardous, and horrifying to observers.

Now it is My Turn to Be There for Him

My name is Julie Pacheco, I'm 47 years old and I take care of my step father Jack who is 90 years old. He suffers from dementia.

When I was 26 my mother married this man and he became a part of our crazy, dysfunctional family. By dysfunctional  I mean mainly myself, who at that time, was a single mother sufferring from the disease of addiction.

The Emotional Side of Caregiving

Whether you become a caregiver gradually or all of sudden due to a crisis, or whether you are a caregiver willingly or by default, many emotions surface when you take on the job of caregiving. Some of these feelings happen right away and some don’t surface until you have been caregiving for awhile. Whatever your situation, it is important to remember that you, too, are important. All of your emotions, good and bad, about caregiving are not only allowed, but valid and important.
 

Families, Tech and Caregiving: FCA Showcases Emerging Technologies for Caregivers

Family Caregiver Alliance announces new webinars & an online service to connect caregivers to innovative tools to care for loved ones at home

SAN FRANCISCO--December 17, 2014--Most long-term care in this country is performed by families, not institutions. And, as in other areas of our society, new technologies have emerged as change agents in that care.

Help us Meet a Holiday Challenge Grant!

Family Caregiver Alliance has received a challenge grant of $12,000 to match with contributions from our supporters by the end of the year.

Connections October 2014

 

Connections September 2014

 

Connections August 2014

 

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