Have any of you considered the possible benefit of giving another caregiver short respite periods in exchange for a short respite period for yourself? I would like to start this train rolling. I am in Stafford, VA, my 62 year old husband has dementia. I hope to hear from others in my local area and also hope the rest of you will post your location in hopes of hearing from someone that is in your local area. If nothing else comes from this, perhaps we would meet others in our area in the same situation. Wouldn't it be nice to talk to someone in person who actually knows what we're going through.

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It is indeed nice to talk to someone in person who actually knows what we're going through. Joining a caregivers' support group was one of the best things I did for myself. There are support groups for caregivers of anyone, for caregivers of persons with dementia, and even for persons with specific types of dementia. It is truly wonderful to interact with such people.

It is also awesome to have some respite time. Dementia behavior can be so unpredictable, I'm not sure I would have offered my services to stay with someone who didn't know me before he developed dementia, and I'm also not sure how my husband would have behaved. There are centers set up to provide professional care for elders or disabled persons for several hours one or more days a weeks. These are generally called Adult Day Health Programs and may be covered by Medicaid and other financial programs. My husband went from 9 to 3 a couple days a week, with a van picking him up and bringing him home, for a few years. The staff included a nurse and a social worker and others with professional training.

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