Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly 6 million Americans, and here in the Hudson Valley, over 40,000 residents. Those suffering from the disease are often cared for by family members. If they also have their children at home to look after, the emotional, let alone financial repercussions can be immense. The result is stress.
Stress can express itself in a variety of ways—some that may not be obvious. According to the national Alzheimer’s Association, stress experienced by caregivers includes:
Denial: the belief that the person with Alzheimer’s will get better
Anger: frustration that the person can’t do what they used to do
Social withdrawal: pulling back from friends and activities that used to make them feel good.
Anxiety: fear about the future and facing another day
Depression: finding it hard to care anymore
Exhaustion: daily tasks become nearly impossible
Sleeplessness: awake half the night with an endless list of concerns
Irritability: moodiness and invisible triggers
Lack of concentration: familiar tasks become difficult
Health problems: caused by the mental and physical toll
Help for Caregivers
But there are steps you can take to help relieve the burden. Knowing you’ve found a safe environment for your loved one can ease your mind and allow you time to address your own needs.
Willow Gardens Memory Care in New Rochelle is Westchester’s only nonprofit residential care facility dedicated to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. It is specially designed to give residents freedom with security.
At Willow Gardens, residents’ happiness and dignity are top priorities. Caregivers won’t have to struggle to provide stimulating activities for their loved ones. Willow Gardens does it all:
Puzzles, games, and current events discussions
Excursions to local destinations
These activities trigger memories and joy in those with dementia.
“Our goal is to help individuals preserve their independence and, despite memory loss, live their lives to the fullest extent possible. That means we take the time to provide personalized activities, programs, and care to meet our residents’ needs,” says Nora O’Brien, PT, DPT, executive director of Willow Gardens Memory Care and Willow Towers Assisted Living at United Hebrew of New Rochelle.
In addition, visual cues and artwork help orient residents so they so they can move around freely indoors without the anxiety people with dementia often experience.
Specially trained staff
The entire staff at Willow Gardens — from physicians and administrators, to the nurses, housekeeping and dietary aides — is trained to understand the challenges and frustrations that an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis brings for individuals and their families.
And thanks to its enhanced licensure, and location on United Hebrew of New Rochelle’s campus, Willow Gardens welcomes residents long-term, even as their healthcare needs change. This consistency of care is as important to residents as it is to families.
What’s more, Willow Gardens offers regular support group meetings for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, which offer supportive relationships, coping skills, practical advice, and information about available community resources.
“Being a caregiver is challenging, but with professional support, the burden can be relieved. We’re here to ease the stress and tend to the needs of caregivers,” says Dr. O’Brien.
Willow Gardens Memory Care
at United Hebrew of New Rochelle
60 Willow Drive
New Rochelle, NY 10805