The Alzheimer’s Association – Besides providing education and general awareness of the rising needs of the Alzheimer’s population, the Alzheimer’s Association provides an extensive network of resources for both Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Their website can also link you to local chapters of the Association, which provide support groups for families and caregivers, therapists for individual and family counseling, educational meetings, caregiving resources, and assistance with finding senior housing. Further, you can sign up for the Safe Return medical alert bracelet at the website. In New York City, you can contact them by calling (646) 744-2900. Nationally, you can call their 24 hour
helpline at 1-800-272-3900.
Alzheimer’s Daily News – This website provides up-to-date information on news regarding Alzheimer’s disease, treatment options, and research studies, as well as “The Alzheimer’s Store,” where you can purchase products that can help with providing care for an individual with the disease. You can also sign up for a daily e-newsletter.
The Alzheimer Spouse – This website provides an extensive set of resources for care- givers in order to provide truth, support, and solutions to the distinctive issues and challenges faced by the spouses of individuals with the disease. The website also provides an online support group for caregivers.
The Caregivers Program at Mount Sinai is a 4 week telephone class for people caring for someone with a memory problem. The following is a schedule of topics discussed at each session:
- Week 1: Understanding the nature, cause, symptoms, treatment and research options related to memory disorders.
- Week 2: Managing the communication and behavior changes associated with memory problems.
- Week 3: Coping with the caregiving role: Time and stress management techniques.
- Week 4: Resources available for people with memory problems and their caregivers.
If you are interested in registering, please contact Elizabeth Fine, M.S.W. elizabethfinemssmedu
at (212) 659-9230.
The DOROT Caregivers’ Connection — Since 1976, DOROT has provided seniors with food, companionship, and opportunities for educational and cultural enrichment. With the help of a pool of 10,000 volunteers, we help seniors maintain their independence in their own homes and foster friendship between the generations. Our professional staff guides these programs and provides information, referrals, and case assistance for elders and their caregivers. For telephone support groups and other caregivers, please call (877) 819-9147.
The Jewish Association for Services for the Aged mission is to sustain and enrich the lives of the aging in the New York metropolitan area so that they can remain in the community with dignity and autonomy. In order to accomplish this goal, the JASA strives to meet the individual’s needs at all stages of the aging process and the trusted community resource information, guidance and advocacy for matters concerning the aging. For Caregiver Services, call Elizabeth Adams at (212) 273-5307.
The following is a listing of Support Groups at Mount Sinai and in the New York City area:
- Early-stage-dementia patient support group, contact Elizabeth Fine, M.S.W. elizabethfinemssmedu
to register at (212) 659-9230
- ADAC sponsored Spanish-Speaking family caregivers group, meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 11 to 12:30pm at Settlement Health located at 212 E. 106th Street call Mari Umpierre, PhD, LCSW at (212) 659-8872 to register.
- The Memory Tree by DOROT meet Tuesdays from 1pm-5pm. For more information, call Elizabeth Fine, M.S.W. elizabethfinemssmedu
at (917) 656-0558.
- Riverstone Senior Life Services located at 99 Fort Washington Avenue Washington Heights offers Spanish-speaking groups every other Wednesday from 11am-12pm. English groups meet every Thursday from 11am-12pm.
- The Elmhurst Senior Center in Queens offers a Spanish-speaking family caregiver group that meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 10am-11:30am. For more information or to register, call Ms. Pichardo at (718) 478-7171 x 27.
Who are Caregivers?
- Family Member – spouses, adult children, etc.
- Friends – often the same age as the ill person.
- Home and nursing home health care workers.
- Other health care professionals; physicians, nurses, social workers, etc.
Many caregivers are either the same age as the older person that they are caring for or balancing their responsibilities between work and raising their own families.
Role Changes of Caregivers
Family Caregivers & Friends often take on these new roles:
- Banking & managing household expense
- Shopping & cooking
- House hold chores
- Bathing and dressing the person with dementia
- Upkeep of the household: repairs etc
- Social organizer
- Managing medical well-being of the person
- Taking on a “parental” role to the person with AD (even if the caregiver is an adult child)
Emotional Aspect of Caregiving
- Happiness that they can help the person
- Loss, sadness, loneliness, guilt
- Fear, frustration and anger
- Psychiatric Illnesses (e.g. depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia) can become exacerbated
- Stress can affect people physically and emotionally
- Can cause change in behavior towards themselves and others
- e.g. drug abuse, alcohol abuse, violence, elder abuse
Financial Aspect of Caregiving
- Loss of income to the household if primary breadwinner is ill
- Paying for home care or nursing home
- Paying for medical supplies and medications
- Transportation to appointments
- Paying household expenses
Stress and Caregiving
Stress is the way you react to change, physically and mentally. The stress response includes these physiologic changes:
- increased heartbeat
- breathing becomes rapid and shallow
- hormones are released
- liver releases stored sugar
- senses are heightened
- muscles tense
- blood flow to digestive organs and extremities is restricted
- blood flow to brain and major muscles is increased
Evaluating Your Stress
- Chronic stress has been related to cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, suppression of immune system, and endocrine changes. It can also make you anxious or depressed.
- Stress affects your attention and concentration and reduces your ability to acquire the information that you need to remember.
Support Groups & Counseling Services
- Research shows that sharing your feeling with others helps caregivers to better cope, reduce their stress and delay in the institutionalization of Alzheimer’s disease individuals.
- The Alzheimer’s Association in your area has support groups that you can join that are all free of charge.
- Therapist familiar with Alzheimer’s disease for individual and family counseling.
Please Contact our center if you would like us to send you information or if have any questions or concerns.