My mom is 80 years old. She has early stages of dementia. My dad is 79 years old. I live with them at home. I suffer from brittle type 1 diabetes since age 12. I also have kidney failure and am on dialysis treatment three days a week for 4 hours a treatment. I have been watching my dad slowly getting worn out caring for my mom. I do my best to help care for mom. They have been married for 56 years. I’m am seriously stressed out. My blood pressure is off the chart even though I take prescription drugs. I’m depressed I don’t have anything to look forward to and enjoy. All of these are not doing my health any good. What can I do to survive this chapter in my life? I need all the help I can get. Any suggestions will help. Thanks, Chris

Thank you so much for writing Chris. It sounds like all of you are working your way through a most difficult time in your lives. It is a good thing you are reaching out and looking for help and ways to cope. First, please reach out to your local Alzheimer’s Association, church, or local Area Agency on Aging and inquire about support groups and any kind of help they can provide with respite care for you and your Dad. Speak candidly about the stresses each of you are facing and the toll it is having on your health and your Dad’s health. Look into getting help at the house with your Mom. You can seek free help or paid help. Apply for the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program.

You may also want to reach out to friends or neighbors to see if they can help or go online for support with groups that can help you day to day. Please, if at all possible, find a counselor who can listen and give you support essential and specific to your situation. Your insurance may cover this cost, and if not, ask your local church or support group if they know of any low cost programs you can participate in. Reach out anywhere and everywhere you can. People are usually willing to help if they know you need it.

Take care of yourself and please let us know how you are.

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