Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. The intensity of the care and time commitment necessary to properly meet the needs of aging loved ones can take a toll on caregivers financially, emotionally, and even physically. In an effort to provide much needed temporary relief the God Loves Us All outreach program of the Covenant of Peace Ministries offers an Assisted Activities Day program for adult seniors in Cherokee County, GA.
While the signs and symptoms of aging loved ones may not require that an aging family member take up residence in a nursing home, family and friends step in to provide additional care. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of care for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia in 2013. Many of these hours were unpaid resulting in financial stress and about 20 percent of women caregivers moving from a full-time job to a part-time job in order to care more adequately for their loved one.
In addition to the possible financial strains related to working less, or leaving the workforce altogether to care for an aging loved one, there are emotional stresses. Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate their stress levels as high or very high. Additionally, a third of caretakers report symptoms of depression as they watch loved ones slip from the world of today into a world of yesterday.
Programs like the one offered at Covenant of Peace Ministries offer a breath of fresh air for those that may be feeling the strains of caring for a loved on. The staff and volunteers are certified by the Alzheimer’s Association and in CPR and first aid. With rations of no more than 4:1 they provide age appropriate engaging activities for their participants. These activities include devotionals, art, music, sing-a-longs, entertainment, gardening, and community service projects.
Area residents suffering from Alzheimer’s or memory loss must maintain a certain level of independence in order to participate in the program. The Holly Springs adult day care program is offered Tuesday-Friday from 10-3pm and includes snacks and lunch. Additional information can be found at the Covenant of Peace Ministries website, or you can call 770-821-8972 or email Godlovesusall@covenantofpeace.org for more information and to register.