I have been a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s twice in my life—first for my father in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then for my husband two decades later.
I was one of several caregivers for my father. One of the other caregivers was my sister, Nancy Nicholson. Nancy was so impacted by the experience that she returned to school and earned her degree as a social worker. She has worked now for many years as a social worker in nursing homes. She is wonderful with all elderly and ill people, but she is especially compassionate and talented in working with patients with dementia.
She was an incredible help to me during the years I cared for Jack. Sometimes I just needed to call her and vent. I knew she would understand exactly what I was dealing with. Sometimes, she just listened and sympathized, but oftentimes, she gave me much-needed advice. I am so blessed that I was able to care for Jack at home until the end, and Nancy’s help was important in making that happen.
Nancy has written a short, easy-to-read book for caregivers: Help! What Do I Do Now? Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s. It’s a simple book, but oh-so-helpful for caregivers, especially in the early stages of caring for their loved one.
If you have a loved one with dementia, even if you aren’t the primary caregiver, I think you’ll find it enlightening. You’ll understand the disease much better and appreciate what caregivers do. And if you are a caregiver, the book will be really helpful to you.