You’re on your way home from work when your wife calls and asks you to stop at the corner grocery store to pick up some milk. You oblige. The store owner, who’s known you for years, looks puzzled. He confides that your wife has been in the store three times today—for milk.
Your father has Alzheimer’s. He no longer recognizes you. He’s increasingly paranoid. When he speaks, he makes no sense. He can’t get around. You feel lost and alone.
No matter where you are on your caregiving journey, it is never too early — or too late — to talk to the professionals at CaringKind. Whether you have a suspicion that something might be wrong with a family member or friend or whether you’ve been struggling on your own for years caring for someone who has dementia, don't be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to travel this road alone.
A compassionate, trained CaringKind Helpline Specialist is always available to talk to you at 646-744-2900, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, in more than 200 languages. That first call introduces you to a community of people who have walked in your shoes and understand what you’re going through. Our free educational programs, support groups, social work services, and arts programs will envelop you in a world of care that will ease your burden and make each day a little brighter.
As many of you know, I wear two hats in the world of Alzheimer’s caregiving. First, I was a caregiver for my parents, both of whom had dementia. And, even though I was in charge of this incredible organization that provides superb support to NYC’s Alzheimer’s community, when it came to making critical decisions about my mother's care, I was shocked to learn how much I didn't know.
I was blessed, however, to have CaringKind professionals help me navigate some very difficult decisions at the end of my mother’s life. Looking back, I now know that I should have sought help much sooner than I did. But the important point is that I asked for help. And when I did, I was able to care for my mom with greater confidence and less stress. Each day was easier for me and for her.
The second hat is one I wear proudly: President and CEO of CaringKind. As we have moved through this time of significant change, your message came through loud and clear. You told us unanimously that you stand by our decision to focus on the best therapy available today: good caregiving.
So, almost a year into this very exciting transition, it’s not too late for me to say THANK YOU. Whether you are an individual donor, corporate supporter, foundation or government official, your generosity is the driving force that allows us to create a world where the stigma of an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis no longer forces families to retreat within and where no one is afraid to ask for help.
Our disaffiliation from the national Alzheimer’s Association has also allowed us to form an alliance with an extraordinary new research organization, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Since its founding in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38 million to research, with 100% of every dollar raised going directly to fund some of the best scientific minds in the world. Even though our partnership is just launching, it’s not too early for me to say thank you to CEO Tim Armour and his team for working with us to create this exciting new care and cure alliance.
I see clearly that great things are ahead for CaringKind. In the eight months since we returned to our roots as an independent, local organization, calls to our 24-hour Helpline, program participation, client interactions with social workers, and, most importantly, awareness of who we are and what we do are all dramatically up.
We know this also means the community’s need is growing. So please remember, it’s never too early or too late to ask for and get our help, to become a CaringKind supporter, or to become an advocate for good care. We are here for all New Yorkers. We are here for you.