A Caregiver in Two Ways

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Taking care of loved ones can be stressful, time-consuming and overwhelming. Knowing that they are being taken care of can provide peace of mind that is invaluable to any caregiver, and that is exactly what Rebecca Johnson was looking for.

Rebecca spent 33 years working for the government before she retired, and spent most of her time taking care of her husband. However, she soon realized the difficulty her mother, Estelle Fletcher, was having living on her own.

“She was 85 at the time,” said Rebecca. “She couldn’t function by herself so I brought her here to stay with me.”

Having her mother move in helped Rebecca handle taking care of both her mother and her husband, with whom she will be married to for 44 years in December. With three children and two grandsons, Rebecca has been caring for her husband since he was diagnosed with dementia due to a brain injury.

Eventually she decided they both needed to be in a new environment around other people they could relate to. She looked through the yellow pages and found Crescent Ridge, one of the medical adult day care centers operated by Senior Network, which provides community-based elder care services.

“My mother needed to be someplace; having her all day with me I didn’t think was a good idea,” said Rebecca. “My husband was in the hospital, and I wanted him to go someplace to spend some time away from me.he was there about two years.”

Spending time at Crescent Ridge allowed Rebecca’s mother and husband the opportunity to receive daytime care while meeting and connecting with new people. Conversely, it also gave Rebecca three free days a week to run errands during the day and enjoy her hobbies, which include walking and participating in a bowling league.

“I think it’s a good program for seniors and caregivers,” she said. “It’s a lot of work taking care of older people as well as those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

While her mother participates in various activities at Crescent Ridge such as cooking, sewing and crafts, the program also offers different outings, which Rebecca occasionally joins her family on. Along with the transportation for these trips, adult day programs provide those participants unable to get to and from the program rides.

Aside from the fun activities, the center’s registered nurses ensure each participant’s medical needs are tended to. They provide medication administration, health screenings and medical follow ups. With all of the benefits of the adult day program, Rebecca does in fact now have peace of mind knowing her mother is in good hands.

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