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I googled elder care Birmingham, AL and saw something that led to your site. I read a few posts from people asking your advice and read your advice. I felt like your threw me a lifeline.  I will try not to go into much detail and the the heart of it is that I want some help to get the help I...we(my family) need.  From the advice, I got three important things. Let your family and friends know what is happening and ask for help. Find a support group for dementia or Alzheimer’s. And help develop other social interests.

I need to do those things and probably hire some help, too. Your video tips are extremely helpful! Thanks!  I really would like help doing those things.  Do you know someone who is located in the Birmingham area who is an organizer or counselor that I could hire to help me? Someone who you recommend? Do you have a group to recommend?
My mother-in-law is starting to suffer physically from artheritis and osteoporosis and relies more heavily on my husband. My mother suffers from tremors, depression and has had some small strokes which make her mind feel "not too clear."

This crescendo has come to this point (of asking for help) from the disappointment of not being able to go on a much anticipated vacation (financial considerations), therefore, spending the past few days at home more and in the company of my mother (since I had taken time off from my part-time job for vacation), and my mother knocking on my door at 5:30 this morning asking for the keys to her car that I drove yesterday so I wouldn't take them to work with me.  It was a disturbing way to wake up because I thought something was hurt or sick. To top it off, she had her keys all along and I wasn't even going to work.  My mother relies on me too heavily for companionship, meals, etc.  I feel like she is draining energy from me to live.

I need someone to help me develop interests and social outlets for my mother and find support.  If I can't improve things here, I think that I will loose enjoyment of my own life (my family, interests, friends), or have her move to an assisted living facility, or have her move from place-to-place, living with all of her children for portions of the year.  I need to deal with the stress that I feel and I need some help developing a support system.  Your work is so valuable. Thank you!

Gigi in Alabama, 51

Dear Gigi,

Thank you for taking the time to connect with me. There are professional organizations to help with organizing and there are professionals in every category you mentioned. First, you need to set some boundaries and priorities, and then you can figure out what you can do and what you can't do.

Be brave as you go through this evaluation process, and then be strong as you take steps to improve the situation.  It won't be easy, but you don't seem to have a choice.  You must get your life back so you can continue to be a positive caregiver.

It's very important to delegate or hire outside help if possible so that you decrease your stress.  The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers in Tuscon, Arizona would have someone in your area. I wish you well in all that you are doing.  The caregivers of America are truly unsung heroes.


Doctor Marion

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