Published in Brevard County Women Newspaper May 2007

Benefits From Adult Day Programs?

   A Caregiver is a person who cares for someone unable to care for themselves, a spouse, parents, a beloved friend, with medication needs, fall risk, Alzheimer's, or any of the many mental or physical maladies that may affect us.

   Research suggests that loss of sleep, the mental, emotional and physical stress of care giving lead to more high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems for caregivers, than non-caregivers. Most Doctors consider the caregiver the hidden patient. Your life is usually taken over so slowly, you donít realize you donít have a life outside of care giving, which leads to the stress, frustration, exhaustion and ill health.

   While doing yard work (my therapy), it was not very therapeutic having to watch so they donít wonder off, get hurt while trying to help, or any of the other 1000 things that can go wrong if not keeping a constant vigil, especially when dealing with Alzheimerís or Dementia, not to mention the repetitive behaviors and questions that accompany diseases such as those.

   Rest, relaxation and enjoyment are important for a caregiver, but not possible while care giving. Taking time to care for the caregivers mental, physical, and social self will actually make the care giving easier for you and more enjoyable for your loved one.

   For your loved one, the mental, emotional, physical and social activities and support of a Day Program can improve their mental and physical condition. The physical exercise alone has shown in studies to slow down Alzheimerís and Dementia.

   Myself, a former caregiver and with my husbands health will most likely be again, know that Adult Day Programs better known as Senior Daycare or Adult Daycare have overwhelming benefits for both the caregiver and the loved one. I know Day Programs provide a well deserved break from the 24 hour a day job of care giving. Day Programs allow you to deal with the responsibilities of every day life, visit with friends and do some of the things you enjoy doing, most times forgotten about long ago. Caregivers do none of the things they enjoyed doing and being human sometimes resentment can arise.

   So, are there benefits from the use of Adult Day Programs? You bet, and too numerous to mention here! Caregivers you donít have to do it alone, discover the benefits of Day Programs that await you both. Have a question about a Caregiving or Senior issue, call me, Stephanie Licavoli, (owner) All One Family Senior Day Program, Merritt Island 321-453-6577