Creative Solutions Make Caregiving Easier
Evelyn and Ray, longtime residents of Newton, have been married for 36 years. About four years ago, Evelyn noticed subtle differences in Ray that turned out to be the onset of dementia. Recently retired, Ray had worked until he was 80. He and Evelyn were active in their community and longtime supporters of many organizations that help others. As Ray’s condition worsened in 2020, Evelyn lost most of her income in the restaurant business due to COVID-19. Suddenly, they needed help themselves.
A therapist who helped Evelyn cope with stress pointed her to Springwell. According to Evelyn, “You often can’t see clearly when you are going through a difficult situation, and I didn’t know where to turn. I was a newbie to all things dementia related and was trying to navigate in crisis mode. Springwell has been a lifeline for me, someone who literally didn’t know where to start.”
“When I reached out to Springwell, they first assessed our needs, and then I quickly received calls from coordinators of several programs that would prove helpful for us. Since Ray can’t be left alone, a Springwell Care Advisor helped get Ray enrolled in Adult Day Care. I was initially frustrated when we thought that Ray was set to go to one program, but transportation was not available. Neither of us can drive anymore. Springwell helped us find another program that provides transportation. A SHINE (Serving the Insurance Needs of Everyone) counselor guided me with a review of our insurance and financial situation. We have also benefited from programs for rental assistance – without which we would literally be homeless – and transportation for medical appointments.”
“Dementia is a journey that does not go in the direction that we want. I don’t have my husband in the same way anymore. I’ve stopped telling him about my worries and challenges because he can’t do anything to help. I am trying to learn to go with the flow.” As his caregiver, Evelyn needs support, too, and receives it from Carly, the Springwell Caregiver Support Specialist (in a phone consultation with a colleague, left). “Carly is compassionate, kind and understanding, and she has helped me in practical ways, such as getting a bracelet for Ray that identifies him and notes that he has dementia in case he wanders away. She helped us with a “File for Life” that provides Ray’s medical information and with an alarm that alerts me if Ray tries to leave the house. I appreciate Springwell and am grateful for the assistance as I navigate very difficult times. I know they are there for me when I need support.”
If you know someone who could benefit from Springwell’s programs, please call us at 617-926-4100 and ask for Information & Consultation or visit www.springwell.com.