While no one will ever confuse this CaringKind Caregiver's Guide with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, there are more similarities than you might think.
This comedy science fiction novel follows the interstellar misadventures of Arthur Dent, the last man on Earth, as he is thrown into a foreign world facing crisis after crisis, all the while trying to make sense of his new reality. While Alzheimer’s is no laughing matter, this new reality is something that family caregivers can certainly relate to.
Even before you turn the page to open the book, the message on the cover has as much significance for the interstellar hitchhiker as it does for the Alzheimer’s caregiver: DON’T PANIC! CaringKind is here for you.
As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you will enter a world where topsy-turvy is the new normal. You’ll face situations that will scare you, perplex you, anger you, frustrate you, and maybe even amuse you.
But as one of the Hitchhiker characters says, “Funny, how just when you think life can’t possibly get any worse it suddenly does.” This is often a truism for caregivers.
CaringKind has been New York City’s leading expert on dementia caregiving for more than 30 years. If there’s one thing you should walk away with after reading this edition of the newsletter, I want you to remember that you are not alone.
From your very first call, we will guide you through the unsettling universe of Alzheimer’s, dementia and caregiving. We will provide you with the right resources, at the right time. We will empower you with the solutions you need, when you need them.
The first, and most important, step for every dementia caregiver is to know what you don’t know. If you don’t have the right questions, you won’t get the right answers.
No matter how tough-minded, independent and strong you might be, you cannot do this by yourself. Ask for help. The sooner you reach out for assistance and advice, the better off you will be.
And that translates into better care for your family member.
As this guide demonstrates, the problems you will confront as a caregiver are myriad. Memory loss. Combativeness. Personality changes. Problems with eating and bathing. Wandering. Wading through the morass of Medicaid materials. Caregiver stress and health problems. Financial and estate planning. Dealing with cultural stigmas in your community. Finding appropriate home care or long-term care. And finally, end of life care.
But for every problem, CaringKind has a solution. Caregiver support groups. Education seminars. The Wanderer’s Safety Program. Expert social workers. Legal and financial planning. A state-of-the-art Early Stage Center. Assistance finding home and residential care. As I’ve said before: if you’ve seen one person with Alzheimer’s, you’ve seen one person with Alzheimer’s. We understand that one caregiver’s experience is not like any other.
My parting words for you are, don’t be like Arthur Dent, who lamented:
“I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen.”
So, listen and learn from the experts at CaringKind. They are here to make sure you travel through this new universe of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving safely and with all the help you need to care with confidence and make each day a little bit brighter!