The Family Caregiver Program offers information, options counseling, respite and support groups to those who
are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer or dementia; providing them with an interactive decision-support
process where individuals and/or their caregivers are educated and supported to make informed long-term
support choices related to the individual’s preferences, strengths, needed services, values, and circumstances.
A few years ago, a woman walked into our support group for caregivers. She sat down and immediately began talking with energy and volume that filled the room. This continued for 1.5 hours. The group clearly understood that this new member was overwhelmed and desperately needed support. She shared that her husband of 20 years had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She also shared that she was 60 years old, a young woman who had just retired
She continued to attend support group each month and also participated in options counseling 3 times over the past 2 years in order to address the changing needs in her role as a caregiver. She also attended a Savvy Caregiver Class. The SAVVY was class with 7 women; the 7 women became very close through the class and swapped email addresses and phone numbers. They have stayed in touch almost daily via email for the past year. They also get together for
lunch regularly. This relationship formed into an ongoing informal support group for them.
Three weeks ago the Family Caregiver Specialist was notified the woman’s husband was in the end stages and had become very aggressive and had been moved into facility care. The Family Caregiver Specialist offered support during this difficult time. When they met, the woman burst into tears and just sobbed for several minutes. She leaned back and told me the Family Caregiver Specialist that she was her angel. The woman’s husband died a few hours later. The group of ladies got together this to support the woman. The friendships that were built with the other women throughout the support group/SAVVY have been the continued support she needed.
1129 Union St. Suite 30, Bangor, ME 04401