The Frightening “A” Word

None of us likes to hear the word “Alzheimer’s.”  We are afraid it is going to strike our families.  As we age, we wonder at times if we ourselves are developing some type of dementia, as we repeatedly forget a name or the reason we walked into a certain room.  We frequently hear about someone we know being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  You may have someone in your family experiencing ongoing difficulties with memory, thinking, reasoning or other cognitive skills.  They may or may not already have a diagnosis.  Getting a medical assessment is important, as well as learning about community resources that can help while on this journey.

DAYBreak Respite Care is available to anyone in the community, and is a small group setting for older adults affected by memory impairment.  DAYBreak is under the umbrella of Centenary United Methodist Church, located at 633 W. 4 ½ Street, Winston-Salem, NC.  The Respite program provides a 5-hour break in the day to family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia and operates four days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) from 10:00 am3:00 pm.  Staff and volunteers provide activities, including music, creative arts, gentle exercise, snacks, and a hot lunch.  DAYBreak participants often form close friendships with each other. Laughter and lively conversation are the norm. The group size is intentionally small to allow for more one-on-one attention and a family-type atmosphere.  The cost is $40/day.

Participants in the DAYBreak program have mild to moderate memory impairment.  They may have lost some prior abilities, but still can enjoy the day.  Socialization is stimulating.  Caregivers often say their loved one just sits or sleeps when at home all day. Getting them out around other people who understand and accept them for the person they are today encourages and uplifts them.  Family caregivers say, “My loved one and I have a better life because of this program. The staff and volunteers are happy, kind, and genuinely caring.”  Another caregiver said, “You saved my life.  Because of DAYBreak, I was able to keep my husband home.  I needed that break.”

You may be someone reading this article who wants to give back—someone in your life had Alzheimer’s. We are always looking for those special people who enjoy being around older adults and want to give a little of their time to help out.  We’d love to have you!   I promise you will get more out of it than you give.  These folks are so much fun and full of wit and wisdom with interesting life stories!

As one DAYBreak participant often says, “Live, love, laugh and be happy.”  The DAYBreak day starts with a hug and ends with a hug. How could it be better than that?

Contact Debbie Pilson at 336-724-6311, ext. 1345,  or to arrange a visit or get more information about openings.



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