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Alzheimer’s group forms

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

They are all around us, but we don’t always see them.

They are people like you and me — spouses, moms and dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers — caring for loved ones unable to care for themselves. They have a common bond — memory loss or dementia. We have a name for it. Alzheimer’s disease. It haunts many of us as we age. There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, the sixth-leading cause of death in our country.

Who cares for the parent or spouse with dementia? Ultimately it is the family, and statistically one person, the primary family caregiver, who enters a maze of uncharted territory with obstacles and limited options that are not user-friendly. Most provide unpaid care, and it gives rise to loss of dreams and plans, financial instability, depression, anxiety and poor self-care. And this time of COVID-19 creates increased isolation when we all try to observe limited contact with others.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers support groups for these family caregivers. It provides an opportunity for them to learn they’re not alone, to gain some perspective, to problem-solve, to learn of resources and to vent some feelings. But it has had to navigate the virus by closing in-person groups and moving to online groups via Zoom.

If you are a family caregiver and caring for a loved one with dementia, we have a group for you! This is a new group for Smithfield/Western Tidewater area residents. It meets on the third Friday of the month from 2-3 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom.

Carrie Bruce and Carolyn Savinsky are co-facilitators. Email SmithfieldCaregiverGroup@gmail.com for further information. You must register to participate and sign-in details for the meeting will be emailed to you. We look forward to welcoming you at our first meeting of 2021, this coming Friday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m.

 

Carolyn Wade Savinsky

Smithfield