In this video series, we highlight caregivers Stephanie and Dolores. These women care for their husbands who have Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s a look at what an average day looks like from sun up to sun down!
Holidays can be challenging for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and can be a particularly stressful time for caregivers. The added layer of seemingly required holiday rituals, family and other social obligations, may completely tear apart an already stretched thin caregiving schedule. If you know a caregiver or their loved one, what can you do to help? If you are a caregiver, how can others help you?
Reach out and share the precious gift of time
Bake some cookies or provide a frozen meal for a caregiving neighbor or friend. Bring a treat or holiday cards to an assisted living facility, or spend an afternoon listening to some old-time music with someone without local family. Smile. Hold a hand or pat a shoulder. Make a coupon book for a caregiver, providing coupons for cleaning service, errands or respite time. Ask friends to do the same for you. Continue reading “Helping Alzheimer’s Families – Including Your Own – Survive the Holidays” »
Angie is a caregiver for her husband John, who is in the early middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease. While John is still able to do many things, such as shower, brush his teeth and get dressed, he needs physical assistance, direction and cues from Angie on how and when to do them. He spends time watching TV, counting money – and lately has been holding something invisible in his hands that he keeps handing to Angie! Angie works full time and helps make caregiving ends meet through the use of adult day care and family and friends. Here is a brief look into Angie and John’s morning routine.
I want to tell all of you about an event I’ll be attending next week that I am very excited about: the Bay Area premiere of a documentary film call The Genius of Marian. The film, by local filmmaker Banker White, focuses on his mother as her Alzheimer’s disease advances. If you are in or near San Francisco on November 23, I highly recommend you get tickets – plus, I’ll be moderating a conversation with Banker and film producer Anna Fitch immediately following the screening. Details on the event appear at the bottom of this post. I asked Banker to tell us a bit about the film and his family’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what he had to say:
The Genius of Marian is a documentary film about my extraordinary mother Pam White, and her struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The last few years have been a roller coaster of emotions, filled with frustration, sadness, joy and celebration. I didn’t originally set out to make a documentary film about my mother’s disease. The project began as a series of informal recorded conversations with my mom in the months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2009. She had begun writing a memoir called “The Genius of Marian” about her own mother (my grandmother), Marian Williams Steele. Marian was a well-loved and well-known painter and was in many ways the matriarch of our family. In 2001, Marian died of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 89. Continue reading “SATURDAY: The Genius of Marian in San Francisco” »
November is National Family Caregiver Month. Join the #lifeasacaregiv
Jim is a caregiver for his mom, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2011 – but she has been showing signs for more than 15 years. He handles all of her day to day care, including: organizing her medication, scheduling medical appointments and taking her to them, make sure she is comfortable with her newspaper every day, coordinating Meals on Wheels, coordinating two companions who sing and do art with her for one-two hours a week each, cleaning the apartment and handling anything else that comes up – such as helping her recover from surgery, adjusting the thermostat as needed, reminding her to call her sister on her sister’s birthday and disabling the stove when his mother was causing kitchen fires! He does all of this on his own while working as a consultant and teaching classes at Contra Costa College. His mom spends most of her day reading the newspaper and cutting out articles, watching TV and doing very basic chores. Here is a look into a day with Jim and his mom.