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Are you caring for a loved one with dementia and feeling overwhelmed? Discovering the right resources can significantly ease your journey. This post highlights three indispensable tools every caregiver should know about. These are not just aids; they are game-changers that can transform your caregiving experience.

2:31 The Adaptive Equipment Corner
21:52 Understanding Lending Closets
38:37 Importance of Respite Care
42:29 Essential Resources for Caregivers
44:45 Accessing Caregiving Resources

National Health Equipment Lending Closet Directory

First on the list is the National Health Equipment Lending Closet Directory. This incredible service allows caregivers to borrow medical equipment at no or low cost. From walkers to hospital beds, you can find almost anything needed for care. It's a practical solution for trying out equipment before making a purchase or for temporary needs.

Assistive Technology Programs

Next, we explore Assistive Technology Programs (ATPs). Every state has these programs designed to provide devices and technology that assist in daily living. Whether it's communication devices for those who've lost the ability to speak or smart home gadgets that ensure safety, ATPs have something for everyone. They're not just for tech-savvy individuals; they cater to all levels of tech comfort, making lives easier and safer.

Area Agencies on Aging

Lastly, the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) offer a treasure trove of services for seniors and their caregivers. From health insurance counseling to Meals on Wheels and legal services, AAAs provide comprehensive support. They're especially vital for respite care, offering programs that allow caregivers to take much-needed breaks, ensuring they have the energy to continue their caregiving journey.

Why These Resources Matter

Finding these resources can be a lifeline for caregivers. They offer practical support, ease the financial burden of caregiving, and provide opportunities for better care. Importantly, they also bring peace of mind, knowing you're not alone in this journey.

Take Action Now

Don't wait until you're overwhelmed to seek out these resources. Visit Adaptive Equipment Corner to find these tools in your area. Remember, understanding and utilizing these resources can transform your caregiving experience, making it more manageable and rewarding.

Adaptive Equipment Corner Resources:


Adaptive Equipment Corner Family Caregivers:


Adaptive Equipment Corner  YouTube Channel:


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[0:00] Have you ever wondered where the best place might be to find resources in one spot if you are a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia?
Today's episode, we are going to look at three absolutely must-have resources that every caregiver needs to know because these are resources that even many professionals.

[0:39] Don't actually know.
And we wanted to highlight it today in this interview with Christina and Cindy from Adaptive Equipment Corner, where they have put together a one-stop shop for you as a family caregiver of a person living with dementia.
So you can find resources extremely easily in one spot.
So listen to episode 96 today and find out where you can go to receive this benefit and this one-stop shop for resources that every caregiver, not even just dementia caregivers, but every caregiver absolutely needs to know. So check it out.

[1:36] Hey there, success seeker. Welcome to Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Do you feel overwhelmed with the daily struggle of dementia caregiving, looking for an easier path.
You're in the right place. On this podcast, we teach you the skills to simplify caregiving.
We unravel the mystery of dementia and guide you through the often difficult behaviors.
I'm Lizette, your host and fellow family caregiver.
As an occupational therapist, I bring my professional and personal experience to this community.
Here we speak the truth, but without the verbal vomit.
I know you will find value in today's program. So buckle up while this flight takes off.

The Adaptive Equipment Corner

[2:31] Well, welcome back to today's episode. I'm very excited because I have Cindy and Christina back on the program.
A couple of months ago, we had an interview. We're a physical therapist and an occupational therapist and a speech-language pathologist between the three of us.
So we talked about the benefits of rehab and those kinds of things related to dementia and dementia caregiving.
But Cindy and Christina have a very special, unique way of helping family caregivers and people living with dementia in the sense that they have developed a wonderful product called the Adaptive Equipment Corner that I wanted to highlight today because it is one of the best resources I have come across as a therapist, and I don't say that lightly, I've been doing this 31 years, to actually truly put everything in one place for family caregivers, caregivers not only from a resource perspective, but how to use the resources for the person, the equipment.
So, Cindy and Christina, thank you so much for being here again today.
How about you ladies tell us a little bit about yourself before we start to talk about the three resources every every caregiver has to know in order for them to be successful.

[3:55] Well, my name is Cindy and I am a physical therapist. I have spent probably the last, well, most of my career, which has been about 30 years now, in the home health setting.
And my name is Christina. Thank you for having us back, Liz.
We had such a great time the first time. We're so glad you had us back on.
And I'm Christina. I'm a speech therapist. Most of my career has been spent in long-term care, in particular, working with people that have dysphagia and also people that are living with dementia.
Well, you guys are right up my alley. I've done both skilled nursing and home health.
And we joked about it the last time, occupational therapy is like halfway between physical therapy and speech therapy.
So we can kind of flip-flop back and forth between both disciplines.
But yeah, we are the bridge most of the time. Sometimes we're the stepchild, but that's okay too.

[4:50] But let's talk a little bit about some resources. And I am very excited to talk about these resources today because they are very not well known for even even healthcare providers.
And so I think it's very important for us to highlight this for family members, because like somebody I recently spoke with said, you cannot Google what you don't know.
If you don't know about these resources, or if you don't know where to find these resources, then it's really impossible for you to do it on your own.
So we have three separate resources that we're going to talk about today.
We're going to talk about the National Health Equipment Lending Closet.
We're going to talk about the assistive technology programs.
And then we're going to talk about area agencies on aging.
So we have these three different resources that most professionals actually don't even know about either.
Right, they are a best kept secret. They are very much a best kept secret.
Sometimes I've run into some social workers who know about some of these resources, but to be very honest...

[6:03] Therapists are not very good at finding these resources for their patients.
They just don't have time to do it by themselves.
And so I just think this is a great one-stop shop for people to go to and actually get the information that they need related to where to actually find resources.
And they're not the same resources. That's what makes it even better.
They're They're different resources.
They each function in a little bit of a different way.
So we're going to talk about the first one, which is the National Health Equipment Lending Closet Directory.
That is a long name.
We like our acronyms, don't we? I know, right?
So tell me a little bit. Tell people what is a lending closet.
Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills skills that many professionals don't even know.
After attending this free workshop, if you'd like to register, message me.

[7:31] The word workshop on Instagram, or check out the link in the show notes below.
A lending closet is an organization that will collect gently used equipment.
They sanitize it, they make sure it's in good working condition, and then they loan it out to people, usually for no cost to relatively low cost.
So it's a good resource for a lot of the medical equipment that insurance doesn't cover, you know, and we always talk to our clients about the fact that, you know, if you can try something before you buy it, or if you can't buy it, you know, a lot of our bathroom stuff was that, you know, a lot of the bathroom stuff isn't covered by insurance, which don't get me on that soapbox. It's crazy.

[8:21] But, you know, we'd like people to go and try to get a piece of equipment and try it out at least, or if you can get something for relatively nothing, or for free, hey, let's do it because then, you know, healthcare is not cheap. That's for sure.
No, not at all. So typically what kind of equipment do people find at a lending closet?
I think it probably depends on the, where the lending closet is located.
There can be small lending closets, such as in some churches will collect equipment, you know, Lions Club or the the VFW.
But then there's also actually organizations.
We have one near us. It's called St. Louis HELP, which is Health Equipment Lending Program.
It is a big one. So you can have anything from equipment from just like canes and walkers and wheelchairs to bigger equipment like, you know, mechanical lifts and sit-to-stand lifts and hospital beds and things like that.

[9:25] It just program they have as far as the lending goes.
So do you guys have any particular stories of people that you've worked with that you've connected them with the lending closet that they've actually been able to get the equipment that they need?

[9:43] Right. We give that. We get, now I was going to have to tell the story, but we get, we give out the lending closet directory.
Well, our resource page in general, we give that out all the time because those three resources are on there.
And like we said, it's the top best kept secrets. It's the top three best kept secrets, but we give them out all the time. Right.
We have had a couple, Lizette, as far as people just calling us, asking for direction.
We had a gentleman that was being discharged from a hospital.
He was being discharged and needed a walker, needed a wheelchair, was not being given anything. He was headed home.
So we were able to help look at the directory on the lending clauses, try to find something that was close to him for him to get some type of equipment for that transition home. Yeah, it's listed by state and then within that state.
So you select your state and then in that state it gives you where, you know, where the local lending closets are.
Then they list, they'll usually list the website.
Yeah. So you can click on the website or we sometimes what we'll do is we will do the research and then send them the telephone number where they can call if they don't have access to the internet. Right.
No, go ahead. Oh, I was just going to say, we also had a gentleman call one time, or actually a gentleman's wife call, who had Parkinson's and was looking for a very specific walker.
It's called a U-step walker. It's made, it's a little bit heavier.
It's made a little bit different for Parkinson's.

[11:11] And they were, you know, those aren't cheap and they weren't able to find one, but they actually ended up finding one at our local lending closet, at our bigger one in St.
Louis. So, you know, it's very beneficial to try to search those out and to try to see what's out there before you, you know, especially before you try to purchase something. Yeah.
Well, I lived, I used to remember working in a hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and we had an excellent lending closet in our area.
And we sent people there regularly.

[11:48] All the time, you know, somebody who had been in a car accident who was maybe non-weight bearing and 30 years old and didn't have insurance and they needed a wheelchair and they were able to find a wheelchair at the lending closet.
So definitely have used a lending closet myself, but I agree.
I think it's a highly underutilized ability.
And then the other side of it too, you know, if you are a family or a family caregiver of somebody who maybe has passed away and you have all of this equipment, the flip side of it is you could consider finding a local lending library.

[12:35] And donating the equipment that you're not using anymore so that other people can benefit from it in the future.
You know, and even if it's a piece of equipment that you don't think might be used, donate it to them because our local Lending Closet, they're a not-for-profit.
They will recycle things that aren't, especially the metal, recycle devices that they can't use, and then take that money and put it back in their not-for-profit.
And it keeps it out of the landfill. feel?
I mean, it's just such a win-win all the way around. Oh, absolutely.
I didn't actually even know that. That's a very interesting piece of information.
It's a big change too. Yeah. Have you run into some unusual types of equipment that they may have at a lending closet?
You know, Cindy and I sit on the board of the one over here in St. Louis.
And so we have drives, we have equipment drives twice a year.
And we just had one in, it was last year, October, October, I think, of last year. They've got another one coming up, I believe, in May.
We had a couple of young people that pulled up, and they had a super nice...

[13:41] Um it was a pediatric a pediatric power chair and they i mean they just found it on the curb side it was on the curb yeah so they loaded they knew they were they saw the signs that we had uh to bring in the equipment and they loaded it up in their car and they brought it to the to the closet to the donation site and it was just like that's so that's fantastic i mean so they were trying to keep it out of the landfill and they just saw it on the side and it was it It was pretty nice.

[14:09] But, you know, if you think about it, the kids, they outgrow those things so quickly, especially PDA. You know, so, yeah, but that was interesting.
Yeah, I thought that was really neat. And we had another guy that pulled up, and he had one of those flatbed trailers.
And, I mean, he just had just, like, stacks of, it almost looked like he'd gone around to maybe, like, a senior living facility or maybe some kind of a, but he just had stacks of walkers and stuff.
And we were just unloading that as well. It's just like, that's really cool.
I don't know where he got them all from. He didn't really say, but I thought, wow, that is super nice to be right.
Cause you know, Lizette working in long-term care, you, you've always got.

[14:50] Like a bin full of left-sided leg rest for a wheelchair because it doesn't have a mate, right?
And then you got another big old tub or bin full of right-sided wheelchair leg rest and stuff.
You just got all these, you know, misfit parts and stuff. That would be a perfect place to take it to your local lending closet.
Yeah, that's a really good idea for, you know, a healthcare provider.
If you happen to be listening, send the equipment instead of of throwing it away, which is what most facilities do, and send it to the local lending closet, let them recycle what's not able to be used anymore.
Absolutely. So can you think of any specific pieces of equipment related to people living with dementia that might be found or be be more, you know, kinds of equipment that people might need or someone that we can find at a lending closet?

[15:47] Yeah, I would say probably, you know, this is probably more for advanced dimension stuff, but maybe I know they have the mechanical lifts, slings and stuff, a hospital bed that functions, you know, that's got the head raises and the feet raised.
So it makes the caregiver, it makes their job a little bit easier about bringing them up in bed or sitting in bedside you know some of those bigger products and stuff would probably be right advantageous and you know there are some people kind of in between stage where you know you may want to use a sit-to-stand where it's going to really allow them to still be using their legs and and doing some weight bearing but not have to take that maximum lift or that moderate lift of the caregiver to help them up but to allow them to still do what they can as far as transferring.
And I'm sure they probably have, you know, and it might be more of a one-off, but like maybe like the talking alarm clocks or the med minders, you know, the little.

[16:43] Pillbox kind of things you know things like that they i'm not going to say every lending closet has one but you never know what's going to turn up so it might be worth your while to at least find out right and it may also be worth your while you know when i was living in greenwood i was working in home health i would actually stop at our local secondhand store and give them my name and my phone number and say when medical equipment comes in call me yeah that might be an an opportunity if somebody is looking for a very specific piece of equipment to still reach out to the lending closet and see if they can call you if that piece of equipment comes in.
But as we were talking, I had another thought. You know how many people need a backup piece of equipment?

[17:30] Oh, yeah. So for example, how many of, Cindy, you know this, right?
Working in home health, people that live in a two-story house. Yes.
And we have only one walker. yes well somebody's got to cart that puppy upstairs right that's right so maybe we go to the lending closet and find a second walker yeah that's right we can put upstairs or people who have two bathrooms yeah right and they're looking for a bedside commode but they medicare or insurance will only sometimes pay for one but we need a second one so don't just consider you know the equipment that you don't have that you're looking for, but people can consider backup equipment.

[18:15] For things that they already have so that they can make their lives easier.
That's exactly right. Yep. Very good. I love that idea. Yeah.
Yeah. I thought that was a really smart, like a rollator, a rollator to keep in the car, right?
As opposed to carting it in and out or a, you know, a backup transport wheelchair.
I just think there's so many applications for equipment without having to spend so much money.
But I also like thinking, you know, sending people to a place to try a piece of equipment before they buy it.
That's right. That's exactly right. Yeah. I mean, because that would be, I'm sure they'd be happy to, you know, if they've got the equipment to let you borrow it.
What, you know, if you have your loved one, if they're able to be there to try it out, you kind of try it before you buy it. even right there at the warehouse.

[19:10] So that was the first of our resources.
And now we're going to talk when we come back about the second resource, which is the assistive technology programs.
Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop.
If you'd like to register, message me.

[20:00] The word workshop on Instagram, or check out the link in the show notes below.
Now we are going to talk about the second resource that every caregiver absolutely has to know, and this is probably one of my favorite and best-kept secrets.
I am, or was when I worked in in home health, one of those therapists who actually used an assistive technology program myself, but I will own the fact that a patient actually told me about it.
I didn't know about it until my patient told me about it.
So that was a super exciting way of me learning about an assistive technology program.
This is a gentleman in South Carolina that I worked with for an extended period of time.
And most of his fancy equipment that he had, he had gotten from the assistive technology program.
That's awesome. Does not surprise me, Liz. Yeah.
So why don't you tell the listeners today, what is an assistive technology program?
Yeah. So assistive technology program, every state has an AT program, assistive technology program.
In order to be considered that state's AT program, you have to have a device loan.

[21:29] You have to have a demo center, a place where people can go and you can demonstrate the devices to them.
And you have to have a reuse program, which is not unlike a lending closet.
But they are all, so it's, they're all meant to provide services for people, for residents that live in that state.

Understanding Lending Closets

[21:48] So ours, we're in Illinois, So ours is in Springfield, Illinois.
And so what they do is they will, ours in particular, if you have a need, you can give them a call.
You can get online and find out what kind of services we have.
But if there's a device that you need, and me in particular, I'm just going to use myself as an example.
As a speech therapist, lots of times we would use, like after a patient had a stroke and they lost, maybe lost their ability to express themselves.
They might need an augmentative and alternative communication device.
That is basically a computer in a smaller form or a laptop. And they're kind of expensive.
And so what I would do, I would go to my AT program and I would borrow an augmentative and alternative communication device.
We got to borrow for six weeks and then we would return it.

[22:39] We would borrow it. And then I would work with my patient and my patient's family to see if it would fit in their lifestyle.
If it didn't fit, then that's money they didn't have to spend, right?
And if it didn't work out, then we could kind of move, take those steps forward to figure out how to get it funded or whatever.
But it was super nice to have access to that.
And so then when we got done, all I had to do was just mail it back to them.
That's the only thing I had to pay for was the postage to mail it back to them.
But they would send it to me and I would use it as long as well up to six weeks I could use it as long as I needed it and then uh then I would just turn it back in well they've got so many here in Illinois our demo center has so Cindy and I are like kids in a candy store when we go it's just you go in there I mean you talk about not knowing what you don't know you walk into that room and it's instantly stuff that you're just like I had no idea I had no idea I had no idea you know and And it's like that every time we go in there, you see something.
Yeah, you're talking about vision and hearing and besides all of the other stuff.
And a lot of people, and even myself as a therapist, and I will admit this, is I used to think assistive technology.
I'm like, oh, that's just all the computerized smart tech.
Everybody doesn't need that. And that's not what it is. It can be anything that assists you in daily living, whether it's a piece of medical equipment, whether it is smart technology, whether it is a computer, whether it, you know, whatever it is.

[24:07] So it's interesting, but a lot of people, they hear assistive technology program and they're like, oh, I don't need that. You know, I don't, I'm not into the technology stuff.
And that's not necessarily what it is. And, you know, we also have in Illinois assistive technology, we have a maker's program.
They've got four 3D printers and some kind of a press, a form printer.
Where they press things, yeah, form press that they can make a device out of resin, you know. And if you're a resident of Illinois, you know, they'll work with you to design it to meet your needs and they'll send it to you.
It's no charge to Illinois residents. That is amazing.
It really is. I mean, it really is. If anybody's listening in Illinois, go visit your Illinois Assistive Technology Program in Springfield, Illinois.
It will blow your socks off. I don't care if they live in Illinois.
Everybody needs to go to their assistive technology center and look and see what's available.

[25:04] People living with family caregivers of people living with dementia come in all forms.
We may have people who are listening who have other opportunities for assistance that we don't even know.
And maybe a family member or somebody will have heard about something that they can use in their own life in order to enhance their own abilities.
Because that's what it is about for me is the ability for people to be independent.

[25:39] Right. That's huge. Absolutely. For sure. So what other kinds of things do you think people need to know about the assistive technology program?
I would say, I would say.

[25:53] And I don't know if, like with our program, that smart technology.
And Cindy and I work for ours part-time.
We also have an Illinois community care program, which has received funding from the Illinois Department on Aging.
So it is geared towards seniors, 60 plus, in Illinois that may need, you know, mobility devices or smart home technology.
And, you know, we we've gone and we've taken an iPad or a tablet and some smart bulbs and or a ring doorbell and connected them and whatever it takes to make them live at home safer and longer.
And that's what some people, you know, I know a lot of people don't like, you know, don't think they can adapt to the tech things.
But you would be surprised at some of the clients that we've worked with and just even having something like a ring doorbell that allows them to see who's outside their door without opening that door and communicate with them through the door.
It's just made such a difference. And it's just like they're like, I never really even knew that this, you know, could be. Yeah, right.
Another reason to reach out to your state AT program and see what other kind of services that they might offer like that.
I know with the tablets and the iPads and stuff, that started out during COVID when they were giving out tablets to help combat social isolation.

[27:19] Yeah, for sure. It just kind of evolved into, you know, keeping people safe at home and making sure their caregivers were there for them.
So, you know, reach out to your AT program and find out what kind of services, what kind of services do you qualify for?
I think Cindy brings up a really, really good example of smart technology that is not overwhelming, but that has a very specific function that can significantly change somebody's life.

[27:54] Ability to stay at home safely with just even the ring camera.
But I'll tell you a real quick funny story because I love funny stories.
My husband and I, we downsized in order to help my mom and dad, and we moved from 2,200 square feet into 961 square feet in a duplex.
And the the wall behind me is my neighbor's.
About a year ago, we were still using it as like an Airbnb or a furnished finder because we could charge a little bit more for it.
It is no longer an Airbnb because of this particular story.

[28:38] We rented it out to a guy that I have like no safety bubble.
Which was why I'm extremely effective in home health because I didn't care.
I just would go wherever I'd get sent, right?
I had like, my children frequently said, mom, that you're still alive.
We're amazed that you haven't been killed. I kid you not.
I have lots of stories, but anyway, this guy was living next door and he was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, like legitimately.
And to the the point that we actually installed a ring camera because my husband was going overseas and I was going to be alone and I have this dingbat living next door right and one day I let the dog out to go to like I would look I would use the ring camera to see if the guy was home before I'd go outside from a safety perspective right yeah but then I let the dog out so I'm standing outside waiting for the dog to do her business when my husband...
Who is in Uganda, who talks to me through the ring camera.

[29:47] It was not very pretty. Yeah.
So yes, assistive technology can be a tremendous benefit to people who are living alone.
I mean, that's a fun story, but related to dementia and dementia caregiving, a couple of applications that that come up for me are things like cameras or even alexa uh you can use we think about a ring camera only being outside but you could use a ring camera inside the house right we do right right um and and that gives the care partner the ability to.

[30:29] See what's going on inside the house and still communicate obviously not somebody who has as later stage dementia, but somebody who needs intermittent supervision, we can very much so use these type of smart technology to help keep somebody safe or even just know what's going on in the house.
And there's so much technology out there. There are some smart sensors now and things like that.
And without going to an assistive technology program, you won't know whether or not they have it.
So I think it's a very valuable resource for people.
So thank you so much for highlighting that for people, because like I said, you know, therapists don't even know about this. That's right. That's right.

[31:21] So next we're going to do the third one when we get back from this brief little break.

[31:30] Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop.

[32:00] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
So the third assistive technology, oh, not assistive technology, the third resource that family caregivers need to know about that's absolutely a must know.
Absolutely. Like of the three, specifically for people living with dementia, this is the one that's the nearest and dearest to my heart because it's a very little known resource for respite care.
So how about you ladies talk to the listeners today about an area agency on aging? So Area Agency on Aging, every state has a handful or more.
Like I said, we live in Illinois. We have 13 Area Agencies on Aging.
They're usually a not-for-profit. They are federally funded.
And they are a wealth of information. And it depends on the area agency on aging.
But lots of times they will have like this, like a senior health insurance program for that state that will help seniors with their insurance questions.

[33:25] Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid. They also sometimes they will involve Meals on Wheels.
That might be where you would go. They have sometimes they will offer community courses for not so much classes, but certainly like a class for seniors where they could come and learn maybe how to use your smartphone you know maybe how to use technology exercise courses chair yoga stuff like that they just have and they they have their finger on the pulse when it comes to senior services in that area if you don't know who your area agency on aging is you need to find out get your loved one involved with the stick with your area agency on aging and sometimes they will do senior, they have like a senior center.
They're involved with the senior center in that area and try to help combat senior, you know, that social isolation, but you need to get your loved one involved in that and just see if they, if they would qualify for any programs or see what kind of programs that maybe you don't need to qualify for, um, that would maybe benefit you and as the caregiver, as well as your loved one.
I will tell you the senior, um, the, The Area Agency on Aging, to me, is really even in...

[34:39] In the state, like social workers and therapists, do not refer people to an area agency on aging enough.
While we were preparing for the podcast today, I actually hopped onto their wonderful website, which will be in the show notes, because I wanted to look at these three resources myself, and I put in my zip code and pulled up what's available in our area.
And what is really wonderful is I'm very involved in our senior action here in Greenville. I live in the Greenville, South Carolina area.
And it is actually part of the Area Agency on Aging.
And what they have done there is they have art programs and dances and meals and education and community for the seniors in our area.
But what's even more, we were talking about, you know, some stories, what kind of, how can we tie in real people that have used these products or these resources?

[35:51] And recently, I have a new client, and she is actually, like, so wonderful.
And shout out, Pam, if you're actually listening to this, because I will warn you about this episode and that you're mentioned by name in this.
She joined my group coaching, my low-cost group coaching program.
But what's fascinating about Pam is the following.
She is actually an Alzheimer's Association support group facilitator.
And she joined my program because she recognized that a support group wasn't enough, help yeah but what how the reason i bring out her story is recently she was getting ready to go on a cruise but what had happened was her husband or her somebody was sick and so they had to postpone the cruise and in the the period of time that they postponed the cruise the person who was going to to be the care partner for her mom, because she is her mom's 24-hour caregiver, so that Pam and her husband could go away for a week, was unable to manage it all by themselves.

[37:11] And there was a two-week window between the two when Pam very quickly had to find help.
And she accessed the the Area Agency on Aging's respite program for family caregivers of people living with dementia and was able to, through the respite program and the voucher, because there's money attached to some of these programs specifically for dementia and dementia caregiving, to provide family with the funding in order to actually either hire or pay for an agency to come and help provide that respite service.
So even though she had to work very hard in those two weeks to do this, she was able to go on her cruise and take the respite she needed.
And now she has the structure in place and a care team to help her moving forward with her mom so that she can actually take some breaks because this is a marathon. It's not a sprint.

[38:24] You know, family caregivers need to understand they cannot do this alone, and they have to build in the structure earlier on, and we're not doing a good

Importance of Respite Care

[38:35] enough job of doing that for people.
So if you are a family caregiver, especially if your loved one is getting to the point where you're needing to provide that 24-hour care and supervision –, The time to have looked at respite was a year ago.

[38:55] We wait too long. What happens is people wait until they're burning out before they put that support around them.
So like I said, the Area Agency on Aging is very near and dear to my heart from helping the family caregivers of somebody with dementia.
Dementia a little known fact is a lot of these area agencies on aging they are state funded and they have some federal dollars too and sometimes there are some there's a lot of money actually i shouldn't say a lot of money but there is money delineated out specifically for alzheimer's and dementia yeah yeah and caregivers in particular they start that's kind of a big buzzword now too too.
So yeah, that's important for caregivers to know that.
They do need to know that. So can you think of anything else specific to area agencies on aging?
As I was kind of going through here, a little known to me, but even, for example, elder abuse here in South Carolina, and health insurance counseling, and then the legal services.

[40:03] Yeah, right. Yeah, that's right. I I forgot about that. Yeah.
They have so many programs that they have their finger on.
You know, it's just it is worth a call to find out to get a loved one involved, even if they don't qualify for any programs or anything.
Get their name in that in into the system. Yeah, absolutely.
Because it's better to do it beforehand.

[40:27] Than to try and do it afterwards and then not actually be able to access it.
So my biggest request to people listening today is don't wait.

[40:39] Go look up these resources. The link will be in the show notes for you guys to find their Cindy and Christina's website, which is Adaptive Equipment Corner.
And go check out these resources.
Put in your local zip code because the website is great.
I was telling them they have a new website and I'm like, your website is awesome.
And so putting in the person's zip code, you can put in your zip code and pull up all of the resources in your local geographic area.
And I think that's probably my biggest takeaway from today is these specific resources are geographic specific.
Specific yeah which is so important yes it's so important because a lot of other resources are not as specific to the the geography but if if i have a client in say colorado they can find resources in colorado yep that's right yep absolutely we're that's why we give this out we're giving these these three out constantly, daily, every week, you know, because it is, it's geographic.
And so people will reach out to us, you know, we're on all kinds of social media channels, you know, we don't know where they list.
So we always just send them here and find your state, find your, you know, use your zip code, use your city and state and, you know, at least, and that it's at least a place to start.
It's a place to start. Absolutely.

[42:09] Well, ladies, thank you so much for for people listening, these are the three resources every caregiver must know.
The first one is the Lending Closet Directory.
The second one is the Assistive Technology Program.

Essential Resources for Caregivers

[42:25] And the third one is Area Agency on Aging.
The last thing I'd love to mention before we sign off today to people people who are listening to the program, is that I really, one of my biggest passions is trying to give the family caregivers of whoever, but most, you know, this program is for people living with dementia, the resources and tools that they need.
Cindy and Christina have developed this wonderful platform, which has spent, you know, I've been doing this for a long time.
They have have spent thousands of hours, I kid you not, thousands of hours developing this library of resources for you if you are a family caregiver of a person living with dementia, or if you are a senior who is trying to age in place by yourself and.

[43:21] You don't know how to safely use a piece of equipment or if you were a family caregiver, if you're starting to struggle with things like moving somebody, transferring them, getting them from a lying down to a sitting up position in an easier way so that you don't hurt yourself.
The biggest benefit that Cindy and Christina bring is they have this very, very very affordable, like very affordable platform where you can actually go and they've divided it up into different levels.
So when somebody is needing just a little bit of help versus somebody needing a lot of help.
So you don't have to spend thousands of hours just trying to figure it out on your own.
You don't need to figure it out on your own. You can join their platform at a very reasonable cost and watch a video that tells you and shows you how you need to do this.
So I really want to highlight this for anybody listening today because you don't know what you don't know and people do things the wrong way and they're putting themselves at risk.
So thank you for building this program.
We will have the link in the show notes for people who are interested in checking it out.
But I think it is probably one of the best platforms.

Accessing Caregiving Resources

[44:45] Like, I've seen the back end of it, guys. It is like, I'm like, can I have this, please?

[44:52] So please, please, please go check it out. Ladies, thank you so much for being here again.
We might have to make this a frequent segment to start our own little YouTube channel related to you this or just even talking about the whole health care and insurance and i think we could talk for hours but yes i'm sure we could have the otp tnsd here yeah so thank you guys for being here again i appreciate your time um and i will be making sure that everybody gets the resources in the show notes today thanks for having us very much for having us no you are super welcome, Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker.
I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve you.
You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families.
It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together.

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[46:00] Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit.
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About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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