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December 6th, 2016

Aging with Grace…

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As a follow up to the last column on the benefits of Adult Day to the participant, this week we’ll share information on the benefits to the caregiver, which are equally important to consider.


Dear Grace,

As the main caregiver for my husband, who had a stroke about six months ago, I’m trying to figure out how to care for him at home and still have some semblance of a life for myself. How could having him attend Adult Day help me with this?
Thanks,
MaryAnn

Dear MaryAnn,
To be able to care for your husband as you wish to, you must take care of yourself and Adult Day can be of great benefit to you in this area.

Vermont Adult Day Centers are certified through the State of Vermont and offer a variety of services and supports that enable families to have their loved ones remain living at home. It’s a safe environment where you can leave your family member and not have to worry about what they are doing while you’re gone. One important thing to remember is that Adult Day Centers are not equipped to be a one on one environment and are not intended for that purpose.

Having your loved one attend Adult Day provides numerous benefits for you, as the caregiver:

-Free time for you to do anything you need or want to do (meet friends, get your hair cut, read a book, household chores, go to a movie, volunteer, continue your career, exercise or just take a nap).

-Your husband will have trained staff caring for him who will communicate any questions or concerns to you. They will also be available if/when you have questions or need support.

-Adult Day is also a great resource for caregiver support through regularly scheduled Caregiver Support Group meetings that provide an opportunity for caregivers to meet and share experiences.

Making the transition to Adult Day successful for you and your loved one:

-As caregiver, you are an integral part of the transition process to Adult Day, since your husband is used to being with you all the time. The Adult Day staff will work closely with the family throughout the process of introducing him to this new environment, as we all want a successful transition.

-When talking to your loved one about visiting Adult Day, call it the club or just mention visiting a new place and making new friends. Plan to visit several times, if necessary.

-When your family member begins Adult Day, it may be necessary for you to attend with him and gradually over a period of time work towards having them here alone. If the first attempt doesn’t work out, don’t give up. Work with the Adult Day team to try new ideas, schedules or other suggestions. There is the always the possibility that Adult Day is not the appropriate environment for your loved one, but that can only be determined over time.
Hopefully this information will support your efforts in providing the best care possible for your husband while managing to maintain a healthy enjoyable life for yourself.
Sincerely,
Grace

If you have questions or are looking for information related to caring for an elder loved one or other individual with disabilities or health issues, please email me, deargrace@pibarre.org or write me, c/o Project Independence, 81 N. Nain St. – Ste. 1, Barre, VT 05641-4283

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