The journey through Alzheimer's and dementia is a very stressful one for some people. That's from Alzheimer Society North Central Regional Coordinator Jennifer Harder, who explains misinformation and much reluctance to seek assistance, doesn't help the situation.
She notes it's important to reach out sooner than later so that you're not walking into more of a crisis situation.
"At least this way, you're a little better prepared for some of the things that could come up," says Harder. "You're looking after yourself because it is very stressful. I've seen all kinds of reactions to having a loved one, friend or anyone who has dementia. We can also provide some support even to a person that is living with a diagnosis of dementia. I do have some clients that have been diagnosed and they come here to talk about how they're feeling about things and to get some information themselves."
Harder says the caregivers are usually the people who face most of the hardships.
"There are people that are maybe questioning whether they might have dementia, or they have been living with a diagnosis and they just want some more information, and to talk about it," continues Harder. "Sometimes, whether it's care partners or people that are living with dementia, they don't feel comfortable talking to their own families about everything. When people come for a supportive counseling with me or anybody with the society, they can say all of those things and they can vent frustrations, or share fears and that they're maybe not comfortable sharing with their families or other people."
September is World Alzheimer's Month.
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