Moreover, this week’s TIME magazine cover was on Alzheimer’s. In one of the accompanying articles in TIME, Nancy Gibbs writes that a third of the caregivers are responsible round the clock.
I understand this because my dad who is the primary caregiver for my mom never leaves her side.
The issue with providing round the clock care for an Alzheimer’s patient means that the caregiver has no time off. There are no free weekends or leisurely trips to the mall, or even some time out for a movie.
I was conversing with a caregiver and asked her what would be helpful. She said, “If somebody that lives close-by can just stop by and have tea with my mother-in-law (an Alzheimer’s patient) for 30 minutes, that would relieve me.”
Once upon a time, a neighborhood used to be a place where we all knew each other. Children were playmates, parents were friends, and new people were welcomed with open arms.
Nowadays, we come home from work, or school, and become isolated in our homes. We tend to not bother with welcoming new neighbors or meeting current ones. Their names, likes, dislikes, problems-we know none of them.
What’s the point of this? If we knew our neighbors, took the time to meet them and become actual neighbors, we are more likely to create a support network. Things like providing relief and time off for an Alzheimer’s caregiver could become possible when we come together as a community and offer a helping hand.