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

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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

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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