When you talk to other caregivers of persons with dementia, the importance of support always comes up. Pre-COVID, our groups were live and on campus, but now and for the foreseeable future our caregiver support groups are all online or via the phone. St. John’s Meadows has a long-standing partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and we actually host one of their support groups on our St. John’s campus. Alzheimer’s Association also provides support for your loved one living with dementia.
Mediation and individual support
Caring for a person living with dementia can present challenges including changes in your relationship, your own grief, guilt, or even past unresolved issues that you carry into your caregiving story. Family systems are often stressed by being thrown into caregiving and sharing responsibilities; tensions from “skeletons in the closet” that may arise; the child that feels s/he carries the entire load and that siblings are unsupportive; and the struggles to work together toward common goals. Mediation can be very helpful for such families. This type of therapy helps families work together to best support loved ones.
Lifespan is partnering with Mary Burke (former Strong Memorial social worker) and Deborah Cardillo (former support group leader and activities director for the Rochester Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association) to create a grant-funded Elder Mediation program. This will be a fantastic resource for caregivers and their families—and, ultimately, the persons for which they care. As we learn more about this exciting development, we will update you on its progress, here, on our Dementia Resource Center. Stay tuned!