By Dan Barney

Last week we briefly discussed the critical situations that arise when care is required for a disabled elder person. This may be for cancer, Alzheimer’s or other debilitating diseases.

An article in “Today’s Caregiver” states:

“Nearly one in four caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias provide 40 hours a week or more of care.

Seventy-one percent sustain this commitment for more than a year, and 32 percent do so for five years or more.

One of the best gifts you can give someone caring for Alzheimer’s is something that relieves the stress or provides a bit of respite for the caregiver.

The Gift of time: “Cost-effective and truly meaningful gifts are self-made coupons for cleaning the house, preparing a meal, mowing lawn/shoveling driveway, respite times that allow the caregiver time off to focus on what he/she needs.”

An attorney can help iron out legal problems. And an elder mediator can help solve disputes between family members.

There are also cash benefits for veterans, who served during a period of war, that pay for home care or assisted living.

If you are the one providing daily care for a loved one, you owe it to yourself to seek help.

Take care of yourself and your needs, both physically and mentally. Seek out professional help that will ease your burden and look for community service organizations that offer respite help.

The National Care Planning Council’s website www.longtermcarelink.net contains hundreds of articles with tips and advice for caregivers and their families. Take a few minutes to find the help you need and enjoy the respite.

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