Essential workers struggling to care for loved one's battling Alzheimer's

Photo courtesy of MGN
Photo courtesy of MGN(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 19, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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A harsh reality for many essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia while still functioning on the front lines.

Catherine Campbell, the Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Texas, says she and the foundation are taking the challenges of this reality head on by providing online hotlines for families.

They’ll be ready to provide resources and other support for those taking care of their loved ones.

The resources include local hotline numbers to call for help, tips on speaking with a loved one about COVID-19 and how to keep their daily routine active while sheltering in place.

Campbell is not an essential worker, but has a loved one of her own that she’s struggling to take care of. She says that the key is involvement.

“Re-engage their daily routine and add new activities,” she said.

“Just make a list with them in the nursing home or in your own home and have that on their dresser. These are daily things they need to do to keep their spirits up, so make sure you add play to all of this too.”

The most common questions have been about how to explain the pandemic to a loved one and how to handle grief through the tough times.

While it can be difficult, Campbell says it’s a necessary conversation.

“Just say that there’s an illness happening in our community but we’re gonna be okay,” she said.

“Reassure them that things are being taken day by day.”

Despite the challenges, Campbell says that helping anyone, especially those going through a similar situation as hers, is essential.

“We are the people to call to provide that support and provide the resources of where to go and who to talk to,” she said.

“Knowing that I’m one of those people is very comforting because I can do the same for others.”

For anyone interested in finding out more information can visit the following links.

Alzheimer’s Texas:

Aging Services Council of Central Texas:

Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas:

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:

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