SMITH COUNTY, Texas — Caring for a family member who suffers from Alzheimer's disease or dementia can take a toll on caregivers.
The Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County offers many resources, among those are counseling services.
"We provide counseling services to anyone who's directly affected by Alzheimer's disease or other related dementias," said Kathy McCabe with the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County. "We work with caregivers and those in the early stages of dementia. We do education and support. We work through anxiety and depression, grief and loss and there's also, oftentimes, when someone comes in that other issues will surface at that time. And so, it's important that we allow those things to surface."
The Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County says counseling is especially important for caregivers, because they often experience a lot of guilt at not being able to manage the additional responsibilities that they have found in their lives at this time, especially spouses.
"It's important for them to not push their needs to the backburner, because when they do that, they often feel isolation, loneliness, they can feel resentment," McCabe said. "So they've lost not only a little bit of what that companionship was going to be like, but they've lost their social support, as well. And so, it's important for them to have someone to talk to about the resentment about the anger, about the sadness."
The Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith county says caregivers are the majority of who they see, but they do work with people who are in the early stages of dementia.
If you're interested in the counseling services offered by the Alzheimer's Alliance, you can call them at (903) 509-8323.