by Gary Joseph LeBlanc, CDCS
Caring for someone who’s living with dementia is all about balance. For you, the caregiver, you need to be able to dedicate yourself to all your loved one’s needs, while at the same time trying to find a way to keep yourself healthy, plus physically and emotionally rested.
As for your loved one, you need to discover a balance that keeps him or her in a daily routine, making sure he or she stays socially active. These two things are extremely important in keeping you’re his or her dementia symptoms at bay.
If you have an adult daycare program in your area (and I truly dislike using the word “daycare” with regarding to adults) you would want to do the enrollment early, before he or she becomes too far advanced in dementia. If you wait too long, adaption to this new agenda might be beyond feasibility.
I have personally sat in and watched their daily procedures of daycares that operate in my area, and I can honestly say I was remarkably impressed. I immediately sensed a jubilant spirit and a good-natured attitude throughout the room. These folks were actually having a festive day. They started off their group session with exercising both abilities—cognitive and physical. First off was tossing around a beach ball, known as the “Icebreaker,” that’s covered with a variety of trivia questions to help stimulate one’s mind. One of the simple queries, for example, was “Name some circus animals.” In amusement I listened to them shout out answers such as deer, and elephants with one gentleman loudly counterblasting “skunk.” I never thought of a skunk as a performance animal, but that’s not the point, is it? What I heard the most of was sweet laughter and comical wise cracks.
If you’re living in the Lutz or Largo/Clearwater area of Florida, I’m proud to announce that I can provide caregivers a few FREE days of Adult Daycare for their loved one through the family respite program we’ve proudly built at the Dementia Spotlight Foundation.
There is also other types of respite care available for those that are living in the Florida Counties of Hillsborough. Pasco, Hernando and Citrus. We’re also pleased to announce that starting on November 1st 2019 in the program will be initiated in DeKalb, Cherokee, and Cobb counties of Georgia.
This has been one of the major goals of the foundation. We truly understand how precious; a day out is for the caregiver. For both parties involved; for if the caregiver goes down, there’s no question in my mind who’s will be sliding down the hill next. The bottom-line right here is, if someone offers you, the caregiver help, don’t you dare say no!
For more information on this program go to: www,dementiaspotlightfoundation.org/respite-care-program/
Adult daycare programs are popping up in most communities these days. Do your research and find out what is available to you in your area. Try to find a program that specializes in dementia to better fit your loved one’s need. This is a way to get some much-needed respite all caregivers truly require.
Gary Joseph LeBlanc, CDCS
Director of Dementia Education
Dementia Spotlight Foundation