Local organization offers support for dementia caregivers navigating COVID-19
On a normal day, things are hard for people living with dementia and their caregivers. And things are anything but normal right now.
Some caregivers are forced to distance themselves from loved ones living in care facilities, while others are left to care for loved ones at home without any outside support.
“There’s definitely a need for caregivers to feel connected and supported right now,” Sarah Lovegreen of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter said. “Sort of the environment we’re in, either with or without memory concerns, we sort of feel the stress and anxiety we have around just being isolated, the fear of the unknown.”
The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter is doing its best to mitigate that isolation and fear by creating a new web page, a centralized hub of resources for the more than 300,000 caregivers in the state navigating COVID-19. It includes care-giving tips, ways to connect to a 24/7 helpline and free one-on-one calls with professionals. Caregivers can even join virtual support groups, where they can share ideas with other people going through the same things they are.
“Some families may be in a work-at-home situation, as many of us are,” Lovegreen said. “You know, is that causing increased stress or is that actually reducing some stress? We’ve seen some families getting creative and really showing some resilience during this time.”
Caregivers will also find on-demand content like virtual museum tours and activities for their loved ones with dementia, who are stuck indoors more than usual.
“We’re really able to see those caregivers match some of those opportunities with what brings their loved one the most joy,” Lovegreen said.
She said the resources on the Greater Missouri Chapter’s web page can be just the connection caregivers need to know they’re not alone.
To access that page, visit alz.org/mohelp.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.