Fred Chavez is caregiving for his 98 years old mom, who suffers from dementia. He joined DayBreak’s ‘Caring for the Caregiver’ education series at the San Leandro Senior Center in January 2020, and has described this experience as a life transforming for him. He learned about his mom’s condition, and was able to improve his communication with her, as well as respond to her behaviors in a more constructive way. He felt much less frustrated, and was even able to enjoy their time together, which was something that he haven’t experienced for a while.
Since the COVID-19 crisis and shelter in place order came down in mid-March, Fred has joined DayBreak’s bi-weekly Zoom check-in forum, led by Karen Kelleher, DayBreak’s Family Caregiver Support Coordinator, and Susan Musicant, DayBreak’s Physical Therapist and Senior Injury Prevention Program Coordinator. He continues to benefit from the peer support of other caregivers dealing with similar challenges he is experiencing during these stressful days.
We bring you Fred’s testimony:
“I have been participating in the Caring for the Caregiver Zoom meetings for about ten months. And it has made a profound improvement in my ability to get along with others, let alone my nearly ninety nine year old Mom. I have learned to ride the horse in the direction it is going. -To connect with her especially when I see her cognition failing.
Susan and Karen have been extremely helpful guiding each of us to improve ourselves so we can be of better use to others. As my burden increases, I have a place to go on Monday and Wednesday mornings with Karen and Susan. A place where I can receive support, guidance, and camaraderie for practical and emotional needs. A place where I can tell it like it is. A place where I can see others with greater problems than I have. -And I am reminded I will survive.”
We are grateful to be able to be there for Fred and many other family caregivers, who need this support now more than ever! If you wish to learn more about our Family Caregiver Support Program, please visit our website at: daybreakcenters.org