Alzheimer's Group: Those Caring for Loved Ones With Dementia Can't Do It Alone

Aug 3, 2015

Credit Ann Gordon / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

An estimated 80,000 Kentuckians are serving as caregivers to family members suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The Greater Kentucky-Southern Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association wants more of those caregivers to be better informed about resources available to them.

Community Outreach Coordinator Helene French says one of the most important lessons she tries to get across to caregivers is that they can’t do it alone.

“You need to build a team, and think about what that team is going to look like--of family and friends, neighbors, people in your community, your physician, and nurses, and community resources.”

French says caregivers should look into government and private programs that provide help with respite care for those with dementia. Some of the governmental services available are income-based, while others aren’t.

French says caregivers who don’t get help often become overwhelmed and stop taking care of their own health. Caregivers can’t afford to neglect proper eating habits, exercise, and medical checkups, she says.

“I remind them that they have to ask themselves: ‘If something happens to me, who’s going to take care of my loved one?’”.

“A lot of long-term care facilities—or nursing homes—have respite care services, where you can bring your loved one in for a day, or every day, or whatever your needs are.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is holding information sessions in Henderson and Owensboro for caregivers.

Here is information on those meetings:

August 6, 2015

  • 3:00-5:00pm, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 2601 Highway 60 East, Henderson, KY

August 11, 2015

  • 5:00-7:00pm, Healthpark, Classroom B, 1006 Ford Avenue, Owensboro, KY

Registration for the meetings is required by calling 1-800-272-3900