Health Alert: A Break for Caregivers


ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Studies show caregivers often die before the dementia patients they care for daily.

The bottom line is that caregivers need a break to remain strong.

CarePartners Adult day services for 83-year-old Bob Mayer have now turned to adult night services with his occasional participation in onsite respite care in Asheville.

"Caregivers need a break; they need to be able to get a couple of nights of good sleep," Alyson Johnson-Sawyer with CarePartners said. "They need to be able to go to a family reunion, to a wedding."

The retired mechanical electrical engineer who is suffering from dementia doesn't complain about overnight stays that include meals and nursing care.

"It's a chance for me to get out and interface with other people," Bob said.

"Some folks actually look forward to it, especially if they've stayed before and know they aren't going to be here permanently," Johnson-Sawyer said.

"It took a lot of that guilt away pretty quickly because I knew he was in good hands. It was instant almost," caregiver Mayer said.

A quick break from each other gives them both the opportunity to rejuvenate and face the obstacles of memory loss.

Private-pay overnight respite care at CarePartners is $150.

Legislation is in the works for Medicaid to help with the cost.