Car­ing ‘an­gels’ are a life­line

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Car­ing for a per­son with de­men­tia is ex­cep­tion­ally de­mand­ing.

As this dis­ease pro­gresses the per­son is liv­ing in a dif­fer­ent re­al­ity to ours and their per­cep­tion of things in the world around them can be dis­torted.

As a re­sult they may be­come con­fronta­tional and re­sis­tant to sup­port.

Due to the dis­ori­en­ta­tion in time and space that ac­com­pa­nies de­men­tia, the per­son may be con­fused about day and night and get lost eas­ily, thus the pri­mary carer is lit­er­ally on the look­out 24/7 and of­ten gets very lit­tle sleep.

Con­sid­er­ing that many of the pri­mary car­ers are spouses who are el­derly and some­times phys­i­cally frail them­selves, the care of their loved one takes its toll on them.

There are a few spe­cial peo­ple who vol­un­teer their time to go into the home and be with the per­son with de­men­tia so that their spouse/pri­mary carer has a break.

Some of the car­ers use this time to have a hair­cut, see the doc­tor them­selves or do their shop­ping, whilst oth­ers just take the op­por­tu­nity to jump onto the bed and have a good solid sleep.

Alzheimers Waikato are al­ways in need of peo­ple who are will­ing to give a few hours of their time so sup­port our fam­i­lies in this way. If you would like to vol­un­teer your time please ring 0800 004 001 or email waikato@alzheimers.org.nz.

Septem­ber is World Alzheimer’s Month so prepa­ra­tions are un­der way for the street ap­peal from Septem­ber 16-21. Your time would be greatly val­ued by the or­gan­i­sa­tion to as­sist with the col­lec­tion of do­na­tions out­side Count­down Mata­mata on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 18, through to Fri­day, Septem­ber 20. Phone Adri­enne on (07) 929 4042.

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