PHILIPSBURG:--- On Saturday, January 15th, 2022, from 5-6 PM, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation is organizing the first meeting of its Alzheimer's Support Group at the St. Martin's Home in St. John's. This meeting is specifically organized to support those who are currently providing care, have provided care, or are going to provide care to someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The WYCCF invites everyone in this situation to share, listen and learn through shared experiences. There will be very strict preventative Covid measures to ensure safety. Everyone will get the opportunity to share their experiences if they wish to do so or ask any question they might have to our healthcare professionals.
Alzheimer's is a challenging disease to cope with. To slowly lose one's abilities, which may result in losing the independence one had their whole adult life, can be difficult to accept. One gradually becomes more and more dependent on the care of others. In most cases, the family members take on the care. However, what may begin with light help, can become a full-time job. This gradually increasing workload often proves very hard for family members to keep up with. The caregiver might still have a job, and other responsibilities and, on top of that, may not be trained to provide this type and amount of care.
Besides the practical aspects, caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's can be difficult emotionally. Someone's personality can change; they can become angry or frustrated without apparent reason, or they no longer trust the persons that were always the closest to them. To see a loved one slowly but steadily changing like this, seemingly without anything you can do about it, can be a heavy burden to carry.
Many persons in this situation greatly benefit from some form of support. This can be asking a question to an expert, learning from others going through the same situation, or simply getting some things off your chest. It's important to realize that you are not alone and don't have to go through this alone. For persons who have gone through this experience in the past, it can help to talk about it. On the other hand, it can be of great value for those at the start of this journey to hear what they can expect and how others cope with specific situations. There will also be an expert present, which you can ask any question that you might have.
For this reason, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation starts with the Alzheimer support group meetings, of which the first one will be this weekend from 5 to 6 PM in the St. Martin's Home at St. John's Estate Road #6, Cul-de-Sac. Masks and social distancing will be required to ensure a safe environment. In this first meeting, the main aim will be to get to know each other and establish agreements to create an open and safe environment to share our experiences.
The WYCCF stands for quality care, and this meeting is an excellent example of what we mean by that. We're not only looking out for the immediate needs of the client. But we also look at how we can improve the client's environment and the people around them. Because the care for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia doesn't stop when they leave the WYCCF at the end of the day, it is essential to support the people around them. To take on this type of care can be a heavy responsibility, and it can become hard to provide care if they're not doing well themselves. Therefore, supporting these persons is an essential part of delivering quality care.