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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Alzheimer's Caregivers Consultations and Support

I had an opportunity to visit with Alzheimer's community resource specialist Jacque Murray yesterday, who was giving Caregiver Consultations at the Central Coast Seniors Center, San Luis Obispo area, California, where I write a blog for their organization. Jacque Murray, of the San Luis Obispo, California, Alzheimer's Association became a Caregiver's Consultant after her mother passed away from Alzheimer's ten years ago.

Jacque said she is concerned that many people who could benefit from resources offered by the Alzheimer's Association are not aware of the support that is provided, as well as the educational resources. She offers one-to-one visits where caregivers can have an opportunity to sit down with someone and discuss resources and ideas that will be of help.

When a diagnosis of Alzheimer's is made by a doctor a family may not know where to turn for help or who to call. They also may not be familiar with what to expect, how to cope, where to learn how to communicate and provide caregiving, and where to find resources. Your local Alzheimer's organization is there to answer questions, provide groups for sharing, and provide education for caregivers.

She also works with Alzheimer's Support Groups in the area where people share experiences and get educational information to help them cope.

To find your local Alzheimer's Association you can go to their website for locations. Isolation is often a problem for Alzheimer's Caregivers and attending one of the support groups and can provide an opportunity to share with others and make friends.

Education about Alzheimer's has been proven in studies to reduce the stress level of Alzheimer's caregivers, and your local Alzheimer's organization can be your educational resource as well as a support resource. The article at News Daily titled "Family Caregivers Life Shortened" explained the study in which the stress and exhaustion of being an Alzheimer's caregiver can shorten life by an average of 4 to 8 years.

The recent news articles, which were not unexpected, about the effects of stress and exhaustion on Alzheimer's caregivers, emphasize the importance of support for the caregivers. "Caregiver Syndrome," is described at CNN and you can read about it if you click on the link, and find it by doing a search on the website search box.

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