It’s estimated that around 30,000 people in the Miami Valley are living with some form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Caring for those individuals can be an isolating experience, according to The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter. So, they’re reminding those caretakers that support is literally just a phone call away.
The local ALZ chapter says around 90,000 people are acting as caretakers for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in the Miami Valley. Right now, they’re operating 17 in-person support groups to offer aid to those caregivers.
Yet, Dawn Boroff, with ALZ Miami Valley says, many caretakers simply can’t attend those meetings and “virtual support” provides a convenient option.
“So, it's designed for people that may not be able to leave their loved one, may not be able to leave the house or that there's not a support group close to them. They can still have that support and be in their home,” she says.
The groups operate with a conference call format that allows caregivers to speak with others who are providing their loved ones the same services.
Support group members dial in the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. The call is led by a trained facilitator and lasts for one hour, however, the Association is seeking a co-facilitator for the Telephone Support Group.
Caretakers can register for the telephone support group by calling 937-610-7016.
Boroff says her organization does see an increase in requests for information and support during the holidays.
“Family comes into town for the holidays and they probably will notice some changes. Might notice some changes in their loved one and then reach out and get some support and help.”
ALZ Miami Valley has a 24/7 helpline for those who do have questions or are in need of support. That number is 1.800.272.3900, or you can visit alz.org online. There you can also access information and schedules for the in-person and telephone support groups.