Dwyer Center group offers support to Alzheimer's caregivers

On the fourth Friday of every month, a group of caregivers and family members meets at the Dwyer Senior Center for support and information on Alzheimer's Disease and other memory loss disorders. Living with and caring for a person who experiences memory loss can be quite challenging. A spouse or close relative is often the primary caregiver. As the disease progresses, the need for care intensifies.

One major problem is caregiver burnout. The caregiver must often function as nurse, housekeeper, accountant, etc., and still provide a stable environment. When caring for a loved one, it is sometimes difficult to remain objective. Feelings can be overwhelming at times, as witnessing the progression of Alzheimer's Disease can be heartbreaking. Many times the person with memory loss can't be left alone. Finding someone to fill in for respite purposes can be difficult.

The Alzheimer's Association is the place to turn to for information and assistance. They provide many services, including care consultation, a 24/7 hotline, respite reimbursement, and family and community education. The Association has access to the latest research on available medication and treatments.

Caregiving can be a lonely and isolating experience. Attending a support group offers companionship, education and information. Experiences can be shared and questions can be answered. If you don't care to speak, you are welcome to come and listen.

The Cleveland area has quite a few support groups for caregivers of persons with memory loss but for those living in the Westshore area, the Dwyer Center meeting is ideal. Held in the library area of the center, comfortable chairs help to provide a relaxing atmosphere. Facilitator Kathy Collins from West Bay Care and Rehabilitation in Westlake, is knowledgeable and understanding.

Attending a support group is one way to help prevent caregiver burnout. If you have a family member with memory loss, do your loved one and yourself a favor. Come to the Dwyer Center's Caregivers Support Group.

For further information please call the Dwyer Center at 835-6565 or the Alzheimer's Association at 216-721-8457.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 8:17 PM, 01.18.2011