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Free Alzheimer's Respite Care in Ontario

Posted Nov 16 2010 8:32pm

By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a social worker at the Alzheimer Society of Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario, Canada. She was interested in the Alzheimer’s puzzles by Springbok and PuzzlesToRemember . As I read about her program in Canada, I could barely believe my eyes. This is the most perfect program for Alzheimer’s caregivers that I could have imagined, and, in Canada, it is FREE!

Below, with their permission, I have copied most of the brochure of their Caregiver program. I was particularly interested in their list of 9 “Signs of Caregiver Stress/Burnout”. I can certainly say that all 9 symptoms were present in my home when we were taking care of Great Grams. I wish this had been available to us!

The social worker tells me, “So far the feedback has been enormously positive, and our caregivers are reveling in the opportunity to do some self care!”

Caregivers, Need a Break?

We now offer in home Respite, so that you can leave your home to attend to personal needs, while the person with dementia is cared for by one of our staff.


Is provided by safe, screened workers.
Provides one on one supervision and company for your loved one with dementia.
Is available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Is at no cost.
Allows you to attend to errands, doctor appointments, the movies, or lunch with a friend. Whatever you need to keep you healthy.
Is available for a one time outing, or for regularly scheduled weekly breaks for yourself.
Keeps you from burning out!

Signs of Caregiver Stress/ Burnout

Taking care of someone with Dementia requires times and energy. Knowing and recognizing signs of stress in yourself or someone you care about is the first step towards action.

1. Feeling Angry at the person with dementia or others.
2. Withdrawing socially from your friends.
3. Experiencing anxiety and unsure what the future holds.
4. Feeling Depressed: Crying all the time, or not caring what happens anymore.
5. Exhaustion: Having your sleep affected by having to get up during the night, or having stressful dreams.
6. Sleeplessness
7. Emotional Reactions: irritability or crying.
8. Lack of Concentration– You have difficulty focusing on tasks, or often feel scattered.
9. Health problems– You have a cold you can’t shake, or your noticing changes with your eating habits.

We are here to help you.
We offer Respite– so you can have a break.
Support groups– Spend time with peers.
Education– Info about relevant topics for both caregivers and family members.
Counseling– One on one help to deal with issues of anger or depression.
Mobility Monitors.
Resource Lending Library.
Safely Home Registry.

Alzheimer Society of Sarnia– Lambton
420 East Street North, Sarnia

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

Insight and Advice

The Alzheimer's Action Plan  
300 Tips for Making Life Easier

Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room
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