85% of all care for the elderly and for those with dementia and other chronic disorders occurs in the home. Today, with little education about caregiving and little support, no fewer than 40 to 50 million Informal Family Caregivers (IFCs) care for their loved ones. 15 million of those IFC’s care for the 7 to 9 million present victims of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia’s (ADRD). In the next 15 to 20 years, an aging boomer generation of 40 million will add a minimum of 4 to 7 million ADRD victims and untold IFCs.
Dementia family care – soon 1 of every 5 of us will be a family caregiver for someone with dementia. And most of us are not prepared to face the challenges to come.
As Informal (unpaid) Family Caregivers (IFCs), we are largely ignored by the health care system or provided with very limited information about what family caregiving is about or how to do it. All too often, support groups that offered are badly facilitated and little more than complaint sessions.
But caring for a person with dementia is not hopeless. If you are a professional working with family caregivers or a family caregiver (or both), you need to know that there are practical options for solving problems that other caregivers and the professionals who really understand caregiving can help us find —
- The tapes of real family caregiver support groups offered through this website offer a real-time record of an actual dementia caregiver support group as it meets each week in a town in Florida.
- There are no actors; there are only spouses caring for spouses with dementia, providing each other with support and practical information on day-to-day care giving.
- The group is facilitated by a family caregiving specialist and Gerontologist, David J Levy, JD, CCE, a long-time family caregiver himself, who has worked for more than 25 years to help other family caregivers learn practical problem solving and how to rediscover their own lives outside of family caregiving.
Learn how a really effective support group
(and especially one for spouses caring for spouses with dementia) should work. Each tape shows how the facilitator
- opens the way for every person to take part,
- works to make sure a person with an especially difficult issue has an opportunity to speak, and
- ensures that the information the group has is up to date and accurate.
Learn how a group of people who were once strangers can be united
by a common need for guidance and support that can make a difference in the way every group member learns about and lives with dementia care.
This site now offers or soon will offer professionals and family caregivers
- The CGR Forum allows caregivers, professionals, and others who have an interest in caregiving to share questions and answers about dementia, family care giving realities you are faced with, and practical solutions. On occasion, Forum users can ask questions of David J Levy, CGR’s founder, and guest hosts. (To learn more about Mr. Levy, click here.)
- Educational tapes and packages through which those learning how to facilitate groups and/or work with family caregivers can improve their skills, including group management and communication skills.
Visit CGR often. Every day brings changes to the IFC’s world, and this is one place where you can depend on having an opportunity to see how you can address those changes before they create crises or affect the quality of care you are providing to your loved one.
Welcome to caregiver reality!
David J Levy, JD, CCE, Gerontologist