ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Alzheimer’s Association held a workshop specifically to address the needs of caregivers.
In 2013, families spent around 17.7 billion hours caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
On Wednesday, the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York made sure caregivers were able to get the help they needed. The association gathered together agencies from across the Capital Region to provide information about services and to hear from specialists in dementia care.
Jim Hurley is the Vice Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association. He said families don’t have to go through the emotional and financial burden alone.
“For people who are living alone, we help them take care of their home or prepare meals; sometimes transportation,” he said. “We sometimes give respite care if somebody with Alzheimer’s is living with their family.”
Linda Waddington’s husband has Alzheimer’s disease. She has been his primary caregiver for ten years.
“I would love it to be the way it used to be,” she said.
Waddington first noticed changes in her husband in 2003.
“Beginning not to like to make phone calls or accept phone calls,” she said. “He was feeling uncomfortable expressing himself.”
He was soon diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She said becoming a caregiver was a difficult, emotional transition.
“Anger, denial, frustration,” she said.
Waddington, like the millions of other families in the United States, have several questions about how to deal with the difficult transition, including where to go and who to talk to.
“As the disease progresses, oftentimes the care progresses,” Hurley said. “But we’re able to keep people home all the way to the end.”
For Waddington, that time came in October 2014. She realized she could no longer care for her husband the way he needed her to, so she made the difficult decision to place him in a nursing home.
But Waddington said they’re both doing well, and she was able to make her decision because of the support she received from several of the agencies.
For more, visit the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York website, here.