For many of us, the shine disappears from the “golden years” all too soon. Eddie Jo and her husband enjoyed more than a half century together, but as Eddie Jo’s husband struggled with age-related health issues and she became his caregiver, life became complicated.
After he passed away, Eddie Jo struggled with health issues of her own, requiring surgeries. The tough times were taking their toll. “I built up this loneliness, and I felt so angry, tense and unsure of everything,” she says. “I began to feel like I was the only person in the world and I worried about everything.”
She decided to try the Family Alliance adult day program. Although she did not know what to expect, she now thrives. “All of the aides are wonderful,” she says. “When you need them, they’re there. As a nurse, I understand the importance of responding to needs.
“My time with Family Alliance has produced good results for my mind and my body, and I don’t worry so much anymore” she says. “I think they saved my life.”
“When you change the life of an older individual for the better, you are improving the lives of all the people that surround them…”
Rafael is the adult son of Juan, a participant in our day room. When Rafael thinks of Family Alliance, he thinks of balance.
“Caring for an adult family member can be so all-consuming, it can be easy for the caregiver’s life to be thrown out of balance,” he says. “Family Alliance has brought balance to my life, my father’s life, and the lives of my wife and children.”
Rafael’s family wants to keep Juan with them for as long as possible. The balance Rafael is referring to is necessary to being the best caregiver he can be at home. When his father spends a day at Family Alliance, Raphael says his other family members have time to recharge their batteries, and time for each other as well.
“Family Alliance brought my father out of the darkness and into the light,” Juan says. “When you change the life of an older individual for the better, you are improving the lives of all the people that surround them. Family Alliance, for us, is a lifesaver.”
-Juan and Rafael
“I don’t know what we would do without Family Alliance. I really, really don’t.”
The worsening neurocognitive disease of a family member means constant change, impacting the whole group dynamic. When the disease occurs in middle age, the goal of keeping a loved one at home can be all the more challenging.
Steve is a husband and father who has Lewy body dementia and Parkinsons. Both diseases have run in his family for generations.
“We started bringing Steve to Family Alliance just to give us some respite at first,” says his, wife, Linda. “But as his disease progressed, we realized that the specialized care he gets there is actually more valuable than we could ever have imagined.”
Linda is a firm believer in the ways in which Family Alliance supports the family structure. “I can’t imagine a better organization for people like us,” she says. “It’s a God-send. I can’t thank them enough.”
– Steve and Linda
“I enjoy coming here; the comradery with other people is meaningful. The exercises help keep me healthy, limber, and help with my balance even after the 30 treatments of radiation. Coming here elevates my mood and gives my wife free time to take care of other business other than me. I want to keep coming here because like I said it is meaningful and helps my health and my family.”
“I have been coming here since 2011 and I enjoy everything. Coming here makes you feel appreciated. I like the world travelers discussions, cooking, and exercising twice a day because it makes me feel better about myself. It gets my mind off of things. Emotionally, it makes me feel like a human being. I am around people and we laugh and joke around, all my friends are here. I have struggled with depression my whole life. Coming here helps me concentrate on real things and not the false things. If I sat home I would worry more.”
“I would like to thank Family Alliance for the help you have given us. It has truly been a gift. J was evaluated a few weeks ago. He has shown marked improvement; I am sure this is because of Family Alliance. The mornings J is to get on the bus to go to your facility we can hardly hold him back! As for myself, I am able to see some of my husband again. There are no words to describe this. All I can say is thank you.”
“Thank You Family Alliance for helping me to have time to be out of the house knowing he was in a safe place. You gave me opportunities to participate in church activities, shop and spend time with friends. I would not have been able to do this without Family Alliance. The care you provided helped him have quality of life also. Thank You, Thank You.”
– Alisa S.