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Trinity Valley EC News

Alzheimer’s Coalition Focuses on Help for Caregivers

Henderson County group supports education and respite care

The Alzheimer’s Association statistics tell a grim tale—more than 15 million Americans providing more than 18 billion hours caring for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in 2016.

While those numbers are hard to comprehend, for individual caregivers, the difficulties of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is just as hard to grasp.

“The hardest thing is having to convince caregivers that things aren’t going to get better,” said Connie Lovelady, budget chairperson for the Alzheimer’s Coalition of Henderson County. “You are looking at the best it is going to get right now, and that is hard to take.”

Supporting caregivers is the purpose of the Alzheimer’s Coalition, based in Athens.

“We can’t keep up with the need,” said ACHC Board President Johnny Johnson. “The last number I got was about 1,900 Alzheimer’s diagnoses in Henderson County, and there are more than people really know because people just see the symptoms as signs of aging.”

Through donations and fundraisers, ACHC provides support groups for caregiver education, and respite care, allowing caregivers a block of time to take care of other needs.

“Caregivers pour every dime and every hour into the person they are caring for,” Johnson said. “But they don’t think about what can happen if they don’t take care of themselves, and that is bad for both the caregiver and the patient.”

The Alzheimer’s Coalition of Henderson County received a $5,000 grant from the TVEC Charitable Foundation through Operation Round Up.

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Other recent TVEC Charitable Foundation grant recipients include:

Faith in Action Outreach (Malakoff): $5,000

Tool Community Food Pantry: $3,000

Children’s Advocacy Center of Van Zandt County: $3,000

Andrews Center (Canton): $2,500

Friends of the Kaufman County Historical Commission: $500

St. Charles Borromeo Food Pantry (Frankston): $1,000

Lone Star Court Appointed Special Advocates (Kaufman): $3,000