Wisdom and compassionate support for caregivers

The realities of caring for a loved one with dementia can be overwhelming. Handling medical care, ensuring their safety, maintaining a household, and more can become overwhelming. Sioux Empire United Way has long supported Day Break and the Ceili Cottage through Active Generations, providing a safe space during the day for adults who are unable to be home alone. A newer program through Active Generations, now provides wrap around services through Caregiver Support. Jane, turned to the program after her husband's dementia diagnosis, and has shared her experience with us:

Before I realized my husband had signs of dementia, I had an idea something was wrong. Little did I know how much help I would be needing to traverse the dementia caregiver journey ahead.

Someone from my church told me about the Caregiver Program at Active Generations. I had several phone calls with the Caregiver Case Manager before I met her. She helped educate me and invited me to join the class coming up on caregiving. The sessions were extremely helpful as was being with other caregivers and led by experienced and knowledgeable leaders.

Along with the classes, I met 1-1 with with the case manager for individual coaching sessions. They have repeatedly given me objective ideas and offered various helpful strategies that I could apply. A sense of humor is important to me and they are appropriate in using it: it energizes and relaxes me.

I've also greatly benefited from several of the support groups; being educated on the importance of advance care planning; referrals to various caregiving resources, one of which was to an elder law attorney who gave me gainful direction; and the case manager's support at Adult Day Services Care Conferences.  At meetings we practice stress management techniques, share ideas and difficult feelings in a safe place. All of this is so valuable without being an added financial burden.

I truly do not know how I would have continued taking care of my husband who has dementia in our home if it were not for all the services offered and having the wisdom and compassion of the staff. I never dreamt that I would be a caregiver or that my husband would have dementia. I never could have survived this huge, overwhelming task without coaching on how to live with this. Thank you to the Sioux Empire United Way supporters, for continuing to support this life-giving, compassionate service.