Minnesota group provides support to caregivers

Jasmine Phu

December 7, 2010

For years, the Nobles County RSVP group of Minnesota has assigned senior volunteers to different community service projects, but a new grant has allowed the organization to expand its services, The Daily Globe reports.

The newest initiative is funded by a grant from the Administration on Aging and the Minnesota Board on Aging. It aims to help caregivers and their families cope with the emotional stress they may have when dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease.

RSVP coordinator Joanne Bartosh has organized workshops that will allow families to come together and find resources and set goals for caretaking responsibilities.

This may be an especially important service, considering that recent statistics from the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) estimate that there are 65 million family caregivers in the United States.

"The ultimate goal [of caregiving] is to keep [people] in their own home for as long as possible," Bartosh told the news source. "Sometimes we buy a little time, sometimes we may buy a lot of time."

Many of those who are caring for a patient with memory loss may also want to consider investing in a medical alert system. This device can help an older adult remember to take medication on time with programmed notifications and, if pills aren't dispensed properly, a medical alert is sent to other family members.

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