How do I handle concerns from my kids that live out of state with my husband's Alzheimer's disease?

Q: We have three children who live out of state. They are all coming home for Christmas. My husband has Alzheimer’s disease and I know they will see changes since their last visit. How should I handle their concerns over our well-being?

A: It is wise of you to recognize their concern.  You have a difficult role as a caregiver and they may be just as worried about you as they are about your husband.  Coming up with a plan for care may ease their worries as well as your own.  Some of their questions may be “Who will take care of Dad if you become sick?”  “Mom, are you getting out of the house and are you taking care of yourself?”  There are many resources available to help you and your husband.  One of our Case Managers can meet with you and your family while they are here to talk about these resources.  We offer a 24/7 on-call service to help with crises that may come up for you or your husband.  Knowing someone is available to help in times of need gives families great peace of mind and helps to alleviate concerns.  We also can provide caregivers who will give you respite and allow you to have a break from caregiving as well as providing socialization for your husband.

Sharon Chader
Licensed Social Worker