Posts

After a Nasty Fall, I Think of Those Who Came to My Aid

kindness of strangers

We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

Fallen, again

Not even two weeks after I put the finishing touches on my walking with mindfulness column, I had a very nasty fall. My first fall occurred in July 2017. Since my left foot tends to drag, I find I must focus on how I am walking so that I don’t trip. As I was heading to my car, my mind was going a mile a minute thinking about what I needed to do that day. I was not remaining in the present moment.

Lost in thought, I was not mindful of my walking, tripped, and did a face-plant on the sidewalk. As I lay on the ground wondering what just happened, I remember hearing voices asking if I was OK. As I sat up, blood poured from my face and I found myself surrounded by concern and compassion.

What do I remember?

Most of what happened in the moments surrounding the time I fell is still a blur. What I do remember is a few people crowding around me. There was a police officer, a local postal employee who also is an EMT, a man who gave me his handkerchief to stem the blood flow, and someone who ran to the drugstore to get bandages and peroxide. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of these strangers. I will say it once again, kindness matters. It was such a time of great vulnerability for me, and through the caring and concern of these strangers, I did not feel so alone.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” –Scott Adams

Emotional and physical pain

As I drove myself to the emergency room, I broke down in tears. This was partly because of the pain, but more due to the fact that I believe my Parkinson’s disease may be progressing. Luckily, I only had some minor swelling, a few cuts and bruises, and a chipped tooth. However, my emotional healing is taking longer than my physical recovery from this fall.

Lessons learned

  1. Practice what I preached in my previous column.
  2. Remember the kindness of strangers that day, which has helped me to physically heal.
  3. I am not alone.
  4. I need to accept the fact that my mind moves a lot faster than my body and I no longer can multitask. I must pay attention to the task at hand.

If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post After a Nasty Fall, I Think of Those Who Came to My Aid appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Seize the Moment to Fulfill Your Purpose

Sherri Journeying Through

I lie in bed at night, my left hand under my head. In this position, I can hear the ticking of my watch. Each beat reminds me that another moment no longer exists. I am one second farther from yesterday and one second closer to tomorrow.

About two years ago, a good friend of mine passed away. She lived across the street from me, and we exchanged hellos and see you laters, flower starts, and recipes for homemade cinnamon rolls and minestrone soup. Her cinnamon rolls were out of this world — the best I’ve ever had. 

Then one day, she began to slow down. She didn’t want to do much of anything. Her departure happened suddenly — too suddenly for me. One day I was helping her pull weeds in her side yard, and the next day, it seemed, I was telling her goodbye. That was one of the most surreal moments in my life.

As I stood next to her bedside telling her I’d see her again on the other side, I felt as if I was standing on hallowed ground. It was difficult to put my feet in motion to go home. I wanted to stay and bask in the holiness of that moment.

Another friend who has Parkinson’s lies in her bed now, silently saying her goodbyes to the things of this earth. She no longer wants to go anywhere or do anything. She doesn’t say much to anyone and she can hardly move. My heart aches for her, and just as much for her husband. 

Does her husband know how much she still loves him? Does she know how much he loves her? Do they realize that the days for saying “I love you” are numbered? Have they already passed that moment when there will be no more opportunities for expressing such words?

With the passing of time, opportunities to tell those we love how we feel are frantically fleeting.

We can’t get back what is past and we can’t change the future, nor do we know what it holds. But one thing I do know: I know Who holds my future. 

The other day, I was listening to Steve Harvey, a motivational speaker and the host of “Family Feud.” He was talking about having a purpose in your life. He said that if God is still waking you up in the morning, then He still has something for you to do.

Well, God is still waking me up.

We all have a purpose. Not until we take our final breath have we fulfilled it. Maybe yours is to let your spouse know what a vital role they have played and are still playing in your life with this little monster called Parkinson’s disease. Perhaps it’s to advocate for this disease. Maybe it’s to encourage others who have just begun their race with PD. It could be to bake cinnamon rolls for someone who needs a bright spot in their day.

We aren’t promised tomorrow, but if we wake up, there’s a good possibility it’s for a reason. We may not know what that reason is, which makes it all the more important to seize each moment, before they all tick by.

Encourage someone, love on someone, appreciate someone. Do it now. You might have many days left; they might not. 

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Seize the Moment to Fulfill Your Purpose appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Heel, Toe: Walking with Mindfulness

walking

Slow Is the New Fast Jean Mellano

Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” — Sharon Salzberg

The ability to walk is something many of us, myself included, have always taken for granted. Now that I have Parkinson’s disease (PD), something that used to come as a matter of course to me is starting to deteriorate. PD has adversely affected my left side more than my right side. I find myself tripping more, since I tend to drag my left foot.

Walking now requires my conscious thought

Going for a walk is now more of a mindful task than an exercise for me. I find it much more therapeutic to focus on how I walk and be in the present moment than to think about the future and how my PD may progress. With each step I take, I concentrate on repeating to myself, “Heel, toe.”

My stride analysis

When there was snow on the ground, I decided to compare my walking steps when I did not focus on saying “heel, toe” with those from when I did. My footprints in the snow were very telling, so I took a photograph. On the left side of the photo are my steps when I was not thinking about my stepping patterns. You might notice that both feet show a bit of a drag in the snow. On the right side of the photo, as I moved forward, I really focused on flexing both of my feet and having my heel strike first. There are no signs of drag on either foot.

Am I putting too much thought into this?

Years of training to improve as a dancer and a cyclist have made analysis of my body movements come quite naturally to me. Whether it was improving my pedal stroke for more cycling power or perfecting my balance to do pirouette turns, I learned to be mindful and to be in touch with how my body was performing. Now I must use that skill to help myself be more attentive when I walk.

My neurologist says I tend to overthink things. I believe our greatest strengths can also be our greatest weaknesses. Sometimes, I do overthink, to the point of getting paralysis by analysis. However, I believe that mindful analysis of my PD symptoms (including my walking technique) is critical in helping me to create different ways of doing things that at one time (before PD) used to come as second nature to me.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Unknown

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Heel, Toe: Walking with Mindfulness appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

My Joy of Gardening Is More Than Skin Deep

sunscreen

Sherri Journeying Through

If you’re anything like me, there’s something energizing about gardening and pulling weeds. About pruning back overgrowth and watering budding seedlings, even if, because of having Parkinson’s, you can do it only a fraction of the time you used to be able to keep at it.

In those highly coveted fractions of time, what little gardening you are able to accomplish calms your spirit, draws you closer to your Maker, and soothes your soul. However, I just uncovered some interesting information while doing some research.

I think I may have finally found something about gardening that I can’t get into.

Did you know the first Saturday in May has been named a world day of observance for gardening in the buff? World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) has come to be celebrated by some (and denounced by others) since 2005 thanks to the help of Mark Storey.

It has become quite big at the Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, Great Britain, where clothing is optional. Personally, I can’t imagine doing such a thing, but then I tend to be rather modest.

Roses like peonies. (Photo by Sherri Woodbridge)

Just think what you might encounter: the briar patch, the poison oak patch, the rose thorns, a little bug worming its way into a crack or a wrinkle where a little bug shouldn’t be … and more. But you can imagine for yourself.

Not only does the unexpected visitor to the garden get to see unbecoming drops of sweat running down your face and various other places (remember, people with Parkinson’s can tend to sweat more than others), but they also get to see your _______. (You can insert whatever you like in the blank.) And, for much of the gardening a gardener does, they are usually bent over. If you thought that was unattractive before,  just imagine …

Usually, for me at least, you go into the house at the end of the day and realize you forgot the sunscreen, and again, you are sunburned. Can you imagine forgetting the sunscreen on World Naked Gardening Day? Ouch. Just think how you’re going to explain to your Parkinson’s dermatologist how you’ve gotten all those new moles.

So, now, I have alerted you of this day of naturalistic gardening. It’s up to you to decide what to do about it. My advice?

Don’t forget the sunscreen.

Remember that melanoma skin cancer can be more prevalent with people who have Parkinson’s disease. Oh, and don’t forget the hat. I’ve heard gloves are also OK to wear on this day of celebration. Might I also suggest a fig leaf?

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post My Joy of Gardening Is More Than Skin Deep appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

My Partner Also Has a Chronic Disease. The CHRONDI Creed Helps Us.

partners

PD Dr. C's Journey

There are quite a few articles that talk about caregivers supporting a person with a chronic illness, and that caregiver is usually the spouse. But what is it like when both people in the relationship have a chronic disease? There is a lot less information out there about this predicament and what people can do under these circumstances to maintain a high quality of life. My partner and I have found that the CHRONDI Creed helps us.

When one partner has a chronic illness, 75 percent of marriages end up in divorce. These couples also suffer high levels of stress and burnout — mental health issues. This has a serious impact on the health of the family.

Writers have offered helpful suggestions on how to limit the negative relationship effects of chronic disease, such as working through frustration and addressing irritability. There are also good sources that provide a literature review of self-care, a review of chronic illness as it overlaps with getting older, and a list of reading materials on caregiving.

This information can be applied to the dueling chronic disease dilemma, but none of these articles accurately articulate the chaos that happens.

When both people in the relationship must deal with their own chronic illness and then be there to help their mate with their issues, chaos ensues.

There is just no way around it – couples argue and fight. It’s made worse when both have a chronic disease, with the accompanying issues and needs that must be met. It’s a swirling storm, and you either decide to travel through it together or you decide to go your separate ways.

We have decided to commit to doing whatever necessary to make the journey easier and healthier for both of us. This is where the CHRONDI Creed comes into play.

Compassion (C-CHRONDI) is the foundation for success: taking the time to hear each other’s needs and respond with a gentle heart. Many of these needs fit into the care demands of disease management (R-CHRONDI), but relationship health must address more than the dueling illnesses.

Couples need to experience times of shared happiness (H-CHRONDI), take walks together embracing nature (N-CHRONDI), and support each other with the development of identities separate from the illness (I-CHRONDI).

There is a plus side to both partners having a chronic illness, which is that both are experiencing loss of function (D-CHRONDI) and both benefit from the support of others beyond the relationship (O-CHRONDI).

We both have agreed to put the CHRONDI Creed in place as an umbrella to help us weather the storms we encounter. It is a shared journey, with each of us taking turns holding the umbrella against the fierce winds.

Our relationship has its rough times — fortunately not that often — but it is filled with mutual interests, love, and a spiritual/soul connection. When the warranty on the body runs out and you can’t get new parts anymore, it is these nonmaterial qualities that bring strength to the relationship. We have always been each other’s best friends, and even in the darkest of times, one of us shows up to hold the umbrella for the other one.

Do you and your partner both have chronic illnesses? Use the comments section below to talk about your experience and your coping strategies.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post My Partner Also Has a Chronic Disease. The CHRONDI Creed Helps Us. appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Making Sense of the Senseless

senseless

When I was in high school, I followed the written journey of a classmate who was diagnosed with leukemia. Miles Levin struggled to comprehend a senseless battle through the exploration of words. He wore the armor of someone who was too young to fight cancer when he wrote, “Dying is not what scares me; it’s dying having had no impact.”

After a valiant fight, Miles died shortly after graduating from high school, leaving a trail of words behind him. At the time, I had no idea that his story would inspire a chapter of my life. Despite a heartbreaking diagnosis, he found a way to have the impact he desired.

‘Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling’

His thoughts reached far into the future, moving those who outlived him. Years later, Miles’ father compiled his son’s final words and bound them into a book titled “Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling: The Miles Levin Story.”

Miles’ story was the first written journey I followed. I wanted to understand how you could pour your pain into words so you wouldn’t have to carry it around anymore. Nearly 12 years later, I find myself asking the same questions I asked throughout his odyssey. But this time, I’m watching Parkinson’s disease overtake my dad like an evil villain in a Marvel movie.

My childhood hero has Parkinson’s. An invincible father of six meets kryptonite. The man who held my hand when I crossed the street and took me to the ER when I had pneumonia is battling a degenerative disease. And I wonder if whisking sentences together might help us make sense of the senseless.

Exploring illness through words

Today, I write because I love someone who struggles with loss daily. I write because I want to see the world from my dad’s eyes, shaking the illness until pocket change falls out. And I write because I want to understand the tidbits of information that only someone with Parkinson’s can taste.

Seeking answers

What does it feel like to shrink? To disappear from your circle of friends? To retire because you no longer want to be seen? What do you think about when you shake yourself awake at night? When it’s 3 in the morning and you can’t fall asleep again because your body won’t let you? Has muscular dystrophy made it harder to smile? Or are the laughs slower in the making? And where do you find hope?

I don’t want to live in the shadows of sadness. But I want to understand life from my dad’s eyes. I want to pick up the sentence where his words end and turn them into a story. I want to bridge the gap between the theoretical and reality, filling in the blanks with my own understanding of what it’s like to feel yourself change. Today, I’m beginning my own journey by tossing words onto a piece of paper in an attempt to find meaning through one man’s journey with Parkinson’s.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Making Sense of the Senseless appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

I’m Learning Not to Make Assumptions

assumptions Journeying through Parkinson's

Sherri Journeying Through

I have a bad habit of assuming things. You would think (an assumption) that I would have learned by now, but no. 

Take today for example. 

My husband and I were at the mall this afternoon people-watching in front of the coffee shop. I watched through the glass doors as a dad bent over and tied his approximately 11-year-old son’s shoe. Attached to this boy’s belt was a knife sheath, which held a knife with about a 6-inch blade (another assumption). 

I told my husband that you’d think if that boy was old enough to be in possession of a knife like that in public, he could tie his own shoes. Then the dad stood up and the boy turned to face me head-on, and that’s when I saw it: the broken arm. It’s hard to tie shoes with a broken arm. 

You’d think I’d have learned by now, but again — no.

However, I am getting better. I’ve been praying to be redeemed from my habit of assumption, but it’s tough. I have stopped drawing conclusions right away. I can hold onto thoughts that once ran rampant, and instead, I am trying to get the whole picture, or I turn away from the “picture” entirely.

Having Parkinson’s has helped me learn this lesson. 

We can walk funny. We can talk funny. We can move all sorts of different ways. We can stop in the middle of a sentence or stop in the middle of a walk and have to be jump-started by the help of another. We know what’s happening, but the strangers who watch us most likely haven’t a clue.

They may assume we’re a tad bit tipsy, forgetful, senile. Any number of things could account for our odd behavior. Because I act the way I do (tremors, dyskinesia, dystonia, masked face, etc.), I have come to see others differently. To look past the initial assumption and see the situation for what it really is: not a spoiled child, but one with a broken arm. 

Now I need to figure out why he’s got a 6-inch knife in a leather sheath hooked to his belt. I don’t want to even think where my assumptions could take me with that one.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post I’m Learning Not to Make Assumptions appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Music and Laughter Are Strong Medicine Against Dementia

music and laughter

When my 67-year-old mother was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer I was devastated. My mother already was disabled from depression and fibromyalgia, so being diagnosed a few months later with Alzheimer’s disease along with terminal cancer seemed like a cruel joke.

Soon after I learned of the diagnosis, Mom and I were trying to forget our troubles by watching TV when a commercial for a chemo medication came on, creating an awkward moment. The commercial couldn’t end soon enough, and lo and behold, the next commercial was for Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

When the next commercial was for an Alzheimer’s medication, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “Please make it stop.” After the next commercial was for Parkinson’s disease, all I could say to Mom was, “At least you don’t have that disease, too.” We both started laughing at the absurdity of the situation. After all, there are just some things in life that you can’t control. The old adage that laughter is the best medicine is true and sometimes the only thing that works. The other remedy I have found for cheering up a dismal day is music.

Studies have shown that music stimulates the memory as well as emotional areas of the brain in dementia patients, and as a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, I have found that music is quite therapeutic.

According to neurologist Oliver Sacks, our memories are embedded in familiar music, and dementia patients can temporarily retrieve lost experiences by listening to it. “With Alzheimer’s, you lose your past, your story, your identity to a considerable extent. … [W]ith familiar music, you can at least regain that for a little while.”

Finding her words is often difficult, but if music is playing or a commercial comes on the TV with a catchy tune, Mom is suddenly singing and dancing in her chair. Playing music in the morning or before she will be socializing has been helpful because she is in a better mood and more engaged in the conversation. I’ve also noticed that she is more coordinated, or at least able to laugh about it when she is not.

Music also releases dopamine in the brain, which produces stimulation. Sometimes I will sing (badly) as I am doing tasks, changing the lyrics to make them silly or rhyme, which prompts her to laugh or create her own humorous comment. Music makes her more engaged in the conversation and her natural sense of humor more abundant. It is during moments like these when I am the most at peace because for a few moments, original Mom is back and all the lights are on.

***

Note: Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Alzheimer’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s Disease.

The post Music and Laughter Are Strong Medicine Against Dementia appeared first on Alzheimer’s News Today.

Treading Dark Waters

Treading Dark Waters

Alzheimer’s disease is cruel. And its cruelty is unparalleled, robbing patients and stripping entire families of what they hold dearest. Definite characteristics are associated with this mind-altering condition, one of which is an unfortunate outcome. But if you’re in the throes of the disease, you already know this. I did.

When a loved one is diagnosed, it is impossible to foresee how things will play out. We think we know, but until the various stages rise to slap us in the face, we just can’t fathom any of it. The best we can do is tread water, but the water we scull isn’t clean, pure, and easily navigable. Murky waters of uncertainty churn beneath us, casting scary shadows as we paddle on. And we will paddle on, but not alone.

As a former primary caregiver, I treaded those same treacherous waves. My mother began to lose ground to dementia at an age in which she still had so much living to enjoy. It was a hard diagnosis for her, and for her family, but we determined to stay the course and to be strong for her and for one another.

It wasn’t an easy journey, but we discovered several things along the way. We were stronger together and our spiritual faith kept us sane. We learned to tread well. Even as the waves increased and became darker and more severe, joy lit our way. Even in the difficult passing of time, joy was available. We successfully treaded Alzheimer’s waves and kept Mom afloat for as many years as God allowed. Then, suddenly and sadly, it was done.

We weren’t left without hope. Our faith continues to carry us and we are comforted in knowing that we treaded the waters the best we could, sometimes swimming, sometimes struggling, but always keeping our noses above the waves. We cared the best we could for a precious mother who could no longer care for herself. In that, we are comforted.

Treading the uncertain, murky waves of Alzheimer’s disease, staying its course, and seeking joy in the struggle is the best any of us can do.

It is enough.

***

Note: Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Alzheimer’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s Disease.

The post Treading Dark Waters appeared first on Alzheimer’s News Today.

My Recommended Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

resources

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is much more challenging than most people realize. The stress of taking over a dementia patient’s financial and personal responsibilities, as well as managing their care is exhausting 

During the later stages of the disease, patients with dementia need continual help as they lose the ability to bathe or carry out simple tasks without assistance, such as wiping after going to the bathroom. Once the disease progresses to late-stage Alzheimer’s, the person will eventually lose the ability to eat, swallow, and walk and will also be susceptible to infections such as pneumonia. Finding trustworthy professional help in the home can be expensive and burdensome.  

However, there are some resources and organizations out there to help caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. Following are some you may find useful:

The Laona M. Kitchen Foundation provides support for those who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. The foundation was established by Gary Kitchen to honor his late mother, Laona, who passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 at the age of 90. The organization is funded through a combination of donations and fundraisers, which include an annual golf tournament and casino night.  

One of the ways the LMK Foundation helps caregivers of dementia patients is through its Respite Care Voucher program. The voucher, up to the value of $500, may be used for day care, in-home care, or a short respite stay for your loved one to give you a well-deserved break.   

Another excellent resource for Alzheimer’s caregivers is the Eldercare Locator, a nationwide service that connects caregivers with agencies and resources in their local communities. The organization assists caregivers in finding reliable help with education and training, meals, home and respite care, and transportation.  

The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration of Aging. Many states have cash assistance programs that allow a family member or caregiver chosen by the patient to be paid for their caring services. You can find further information about cash assistance programs in your state on the organization’ website.  

The Alzheimer’s Association is another fantastic resource for caregivers. Its website contains information about topics ranging from adult day care programs and legal planning to hospice care, support groups, and transportation.  

Being a caregiver can be a challenging role, but you don’t have to do it alone. By using the resources available, you can access support while you navigate the tough road that is Alzheimer’s.  

***

Note: Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Alzheimer’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s Disease.

The post My Recommended Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers appeared first on Alzheimer’s News Today.