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Support for caregivers offfered

Published: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

“Mary” has Alzheimer’s disease. Her daughter “Beth” has taken care of her as the disease has progressed. Beth takes Mary to one of the Adult Day Service programs provided by Fox Valley Older Adult Services, where Mary receives professional, compassionate care while Beth attends to other family and personal obligations.

Mary enjoys the activities and socialization provided by the program, and Beth attends a Caregiver Support Group, where she learned a lot and forged some great friendships with other caregivers who uniquely understood what she was going through.

Many family members who are caring for loved ones are faced with enormous physical, emotional and financial effects. Approximately 70 percent of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia live at home, where family and friends provide most of their care and pay for it out of their own pockets.

Caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a labor of love and can be very rewarding, but the demands, particularly as the diseases advance, can be very tiring, and caregivers frequently find themselves becoming very isolated.

Caregiver Support Groups are designed to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings. These meetings help participants develop coping methods and encourage caregivers to maintain their personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally care for the person with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Support groups are offered at 1 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at Fox Valley Older Adult Services, 1406 Suydam Road in Sandwich. Call 815-786-9404. Monthly groups also are offered at DeKalb Adult Day Service. Call 815-758-4286 for information on DeKalb groups.

Both sites provides free care for a loved one during the meeting by professional Adult Day Service staff.

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