WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – November is National Family Caregivers Month, but for Alzheimer’s caregivers the emphasis on families and caregiving is year-round.
For those with loved ones in long-term care facilities, family ties are strained because their ability to touch their loved ones has been off and on since March because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Caring for a loved one at home during the pandemic is stressful also because caregivers have had to take extra precautions – including limiting family and paid help – to keep their loved ones safe.
The Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter is encouraging people in West Virginia to take a step to honor a caregiver this month, which is also National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. For 105,000 people in the state, the role of caregiver is an awesome responsibility where sometimes the “giving” leaves them emotionally and mentally depleted.
“Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is a constant roller coaster of emotions that requires time, skill, emotional patience and a pledge to advocate the best you can for your loved one,” said Teresa Morris, Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter.
“The Association provides free education and support services to lift caregivers up and help them provide the best possible care they can. What we need is for people to help connect those caregivers to our free services or do something kind for those you love,” Myers said.
Here are some examples of steps to help a caregiver:
· Provide the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline number, which is 800.272.3900, to a caregiver and encourage them to call
· Volunteer to do a task for a caregiver to give them some free time
· Provide them with the link to the Association’s support groups at https://www.alz.org/wv/helping_you/support_groups
· Suggest that they contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 800.272.3900 for a care consultation
· During the holidays help a caregiver by offering to cook, clean or gift shop for them
The Association regularly offers free educational webinars about Alzheimer’s, which is a fatal progressive brain disease that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. To find classes that fit your schedule, go to alz.org/crf. For around-the-clock caregiving help, call the Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.