“My sister gets really frustrated with her husband and yells at him several times a day. She says she understands that he isn’t capable of doing things the way he used to, but she yells at him and calls him stupid. One time I saw her hit him; thank God he didn’t get hurt. What should I do?” -Debbi J.

This is a tough spot to be in. Caregiving is an exhausting and often frustrating job. Your sister sounds like she’s under a lot of stress and needs some resources.  You might be able to offer her an afternoon off, or “gift her” with some reading material (see:  Book Review: The 36-Hour Day – SJL DRC (stjohnsliving.org)  But ultimately, she will need more than that, as time goes on.

Locally, the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org/rochesterny) and Lifespan (www.lifespan-roch.org) are good places to start. They can offer support groups and caregiver classes (online during the pandemic) to help her take care of her husband and herself through this difficult time.

There are a variety of services that might be beneficial, whether medical, emotional or financial. Day programs and respite programs exist to help lighten the load.  G.R.AP.E  (Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly) provides a comprehensive list of local senior services ( Welcome to theelderpages.com | theelderpages.com), including respite, home care providers and practical tools such as online pharmacies and transportation services.

Outside of our area, the Eldercare Locator (acl.gov) offers a searchable database of resources at the community level, and www.alz.org can direct users to their local chapter. In an emergency the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24 hour hotline number is 1-800-272-3900.

If you should ever feel  your brother-in-law is in danger , you can contact Upstate Elder Abuse Center at Lifespan at (585) 244-8400.

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