Taking care of an older or ill family member can be enormously rewarding — but it can be physically and emotionally draining as well. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to seek occasional respite from their responsibilities. Whether it’s for a few hours a week to run errands or a few weeks a year to take a much-needed vacation, respite care offers you the chance reduce stress, restore energy and keep your life in balance.
Robadeh will celebrate her 101st birthday in January. Just two years ago, it looked like she wouldn’t make it. She wasn’t eating. She was hospitalized twice with pneumonia. Alzheimer’s disease made Robadeh at times profoundly sad, anxious or fearful. That’s when Aileen, a therapeutic musician, began visiting her at Eskaton Care Center Fair Oaks. One day, Aileen improvised some music on a Middle Eastern scale on her harp, hoping that the power of familiar music would ease her suffering. It was a breakthrough. An educator and lawyer once fluent in English and other languages, Robadeh could now remember only the Persian of her youth. But the familiar music touched her.
“Our family was not prepared for Mark’s diagnosis, at the age of 54, of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and the forthcoming medical, social and financial challenges it brings. We are so blessed to have found Eskaton Adult Day Health Center where we know Mark is, without doubt, valued, encouraged and cared for. The generous help from Eskaton Foundation allows Mark to be part of this incredible place of respect and friendship. While he is there, our family is encouraged and supported and able to continue on with our work and school obligations. The center’s care for their clients impacts the whole family and the community at large. We are so grateful.” – Mark’s wife
Parkview residents Pat and Lloyd recently had a thrill of a lifetime thanks to Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton who donated two rounds of golf. Pat, 85 years old, is a retired bank president and mortgage broker from Napa who spent time in the Navy. Eighty-nine year old Lloyd served in the Air Force during World War II and later became a longshoreman at the Port of Oakland. While these two gentlemen share the love of golf, they have something more unique in common: They both live with memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Education and support are essential for people newly diagnosed. Understanding the physical changes in the brain is the first step. Take a tour of your brain on the Alzheimer’s Association website to better understand how it works, and learn about the seven stages of Alzheimer’s. People often resist reaching out for help at first, but support groups can be enormously helpful. Through support groups, you can: 1) Learn how to cope with the disease, and 2) Hear about other people’s experiences with symptoms and treatments. If you are looking for an early-stage support group contact Judy Filippoff, MSW, Early Stage Program coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association at (800) 272-3900. For a list of support groups through Alzheimer's Aid Society of Northern California click here or visit the Alzheimer’s Association support group and education calendar. Remember, you are not alone in your diagnosis. Read more at www.eskaton.org
Topics: Living with Dementia