When Regina Smith’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over a decade ago, she found herself at a loss on where to turn and how to navigate the difficulties of being her caregiver.
After her mother passed away several years later, she decided to use what she’d learned to help others, and formed an Alzheimer’s support group with Jan Boud through the Department of Senior Services at West Tennessee Healthcare.
“We knew we needed to help others as they traveled on the journey of Alzheimer’s,” she said.
Education and support for caregivers is as crucial as education and support for Alzheimer’s patients, she said, because as the disease progresses, caregivers bear the brunt of its burdens and frustrations.
The group has been meeting once a month for eight years now, and provides an open forum for caregivers as well as advice and wisdom for how to care for their loved ones at each stage of Alzheimer’s.