Stepping out to end Alzheimer's

As he got older and the Alzheimer's advanced, Carole noticed that her husband was unaware that they had moved to West Point.

"He kept asking me when we were going home, and that was really hard," she said. "The funny thing about Alzheimer's patients is their strong long-term memory, even though they quickly forget new information."

"He could tell me his first grade teacher's name and his basketball coach, but couldn't remember what he ate that morning."

Barrie, a U.S. Navy veteran that served in the Vietnam War, died last year, five days before his 80th birthday and just short of their 50th wedding anniversary.

"He and I were married for 49 3/4 years, and when he died, it was very sad," said Carole, who is now involved in a local quilting guild and volunteering at 4Paws thrift in Town.

"He was just a great person. Everyone loved him."

Those caring for an Alzheimer's patient are invited to attend one of the many Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Groups in the area.

According to MPNN, the Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Groups were designed to "provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers through regularly scheduled meetings, and help participants develop methods and skills to solve problems."

"The groups encourage caregivers to maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally care for the person with dementia," MPNN staff said in an email.

The Caregiver Support Groups meet in:

•Gloucester:

1.) Second Wednesday of each month 10:30 a.m. at the Gloucester Alzheimer's Association office (7335 Lewis Avenue Gloucester, VA 23061). No respite available. Contact: 804-695-9382.

2.) Third Thursday of each month 6 p.m. at the Alzheimer's Association office (7335 Lewis Avenue, Gloucester, VA). No respite available. Contact: 804-695-9382.

Mathews: Third Tuesday of each month 10 a.m. at the Central United Methodist Church (121 Church Street, Mathews, VA). No respite available. Contact: 804-725-2832.

Urbanna: Fourth Thursday of each month 1:30 p.m. at Port Town Village Apartments (111 Port Town Lane, Urbanna, VA). No respite available, Contact: 804-758-2386.

•West Point: Third Tuesday of each month 6 p.m. at the West Point Family Y.M.C.A. (3135 King William Avenue, West Point, VA). No respite available. Contact: 804-843-3300.

For more information on the Caregiver Support Groups, please contact the Alzheimer's Association Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck Branch office at 804-695-9382.

Information courtesy Alzheimer's Association and Senior Helpers

 

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