Caregiving can be a stressful and uncertain journey for many people. When everyday worries are compounded with new complications, where do you go? Many caregivers run into unexpected challenges that require support, yet have trouble navigating available services to find the appropriate help.
For several years, Barb has acted as the sole caregiver for her 78-year-old mother with dementia. Everything from setting up doctor’s appointments to helping prepare the meals at home, Barb handled it to ensure the best care for her mother.
“Most of our family wasn’t able or willing to lend assistance, so I took it upon myself to care for mom,” Barb told us. Situations where a sole family member is forced to take on a majority of the caregiving tasks are unfortunately frequent in America.
Dementia, however, is challenging to manage. This condition, which has over 3 million US cases per year, negatively impacts brain functions and gradually worsens over time. Many caregivers lack the experience to sufficiently treat or minimize these symptoms. For Barb, providing this level of care was especially challenging without extra support.
When her mother started to show odd changes in behavior, Barb sensed there was a developing problem. “I take care of her every day, so I noticed right away when she started to interact differently. The shift was so sudden that I was immediately worried,” she said.
Barb took her mother to their neurologist. During their meeting, it became clear that her mother’s needs were changing. The nature of Barb’s care needed to adapt, but without more time to dedicate or support circles to assist in meeting the needs of her mother, it was going to be difficult to keep up.
Not wanting Barb to struggle with these new developments, the neurologist recommended a strategy that would help care for the demands of dementia while at home: utilize CaringWire to access local dementia help resources.
“Our Neurologist said that dealing with dementia was a battle at the doctor’s and at home. The best results came from a combined effort, so finding local services that could fill in the gaps meant that my mother’s condition had less chance of worsening,” Barb explained to us.
CaringWire is an easy-to-use app that empowers caregivers with easy access to supportive resources so they can connect with services that bolster their care abilities. Barb completed the CaringWire self-assessment, answering questions about her situation so that the app could find the most relevant and local services.
“The app pointed me to a health network that provided coordinated health care services direct to the home. Not only did they help with supporting my mother, but they answered all the questions I still had,” Barb told us. “It was such a huge help, I was so relieved.”
Not only that, but Barb was able to utilize the app to discover helpful recommendations for dementia-focused day programs and even meal delivery services. All of these combined helped to address her mother’s social and emotional needs while taking the stress of too many responsibilities off of Barb.
These days, Barb is able to provide her mother with the best care possible and have peace of mind while doing it.