Expanding Caregiver Resources
Friday, July 14, 2017
After our Director of Memory Support Jennifer Holcomb wrote You Are Not Alone on this blog, almost two years ago, the importance of her activities specifically geared towards caregivers continued to increase significantly. The Early Stage Support Group, which she created in collaboration with Hanover Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Association was such a success that it has become a twice-a-year tradition. This coming fall, the 8-session series will start on September 18 and continue until November 6. Registration is open until September 8 for this free yet invaluable training.
Many of the Early Stage Support Group graduates turned into a close-knit group of friends and expressed a wish to get together again on a regular basis. Jenn created the popular Memory Café for this purpose, and the group continues to meet regularly in various interesting locations. The companionship has been most beneficial for the individuals with the disease, and for their caregivers.
While fellowship and lighthearted moments are to be treasured, we are also keenly aware of the challenges faced by caregivers. Current political news notwithstanding, we are conditioned from childhood to distinguish fact from fancy, true from false, and real from imaginary. Therefore, it is “natural” for caregivers to try to bring loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease back to reality, as a small victory over the disease so to speak. But this clash of realities can be the source of much stress, and it seldom helps. That is why we have created this short Communication Tools for Caregivers video as part of our wide array of resources.
Who knows in what direction our outreach to inform and support caregivers will lead us in the coming two years? What we know is that we would like Cross Keys Village to be the area’s Go-To resource for individuals and groups needing information and support. There is a growing need out there, and it is part of our mission to fill it.