I would like to wish all the mothers out there (especially my own) a very happy Mother’s Day. I would also like to take this time to appreciate all the mothers out there who not only care for their young children, but also those who transition into the caregiver role for their elderly loved ones suffering from debilitating illnesses like dementia. A recent study by Maria Shriver and the Alzheimer’s Association found that three out of five people who take on the enormous task of caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease are women. And, almost a third of the women who were surveyed reported that they are the primary caregivers for both their children and their elderly parents.
The Huffington Post recently ran a great article called “5 Mother’s Day Gifts for Alzheimer’s Caregivers” which offers some great ideas for showing these tireless and loving people how special they are, including:
- Offering them some respite time by helping them with their daily duties and allowing them to de-stress.
- Connecting them to a support group which offers a confidential outlet for sharing feelings and receiving comfort.
- Tell them about online resources and help to identify specific issues they may be struggling with and seek out resources that may help them.
- Honor them by posting a thankful message on the Alzheimer’s Association website.
- Encourage them to journal so that they can confront their own emotions and begin to process them in a healthy fashion.
The Massachusetts Office of Elder Affairs also offers some great resources to support caregivers including fitness tips, tip sheets and guides for caregivers by caregivers, health quizzes and tools, and a monthly newsletter offering caregiver resources.
If you are acting as the primary caregiver for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, you don’t have to go it alone. Connecting with resources in the community, including elder law attorneys, can help ease your burden and offer you the comfort of knowing your loved one is receiving the care they need. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or considering what MassHealth options your family might have, call my office to discuss how I can help.