Peter and Helen have been married for 47 years. When Helen started to show signs of dementia, Peter didn’t know where to turn for help.
“Helen was always the person who organized everything for our family,” he explains. “She was the one who always knew where things are kept, and talked to the kids about what was going on. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to cope with any of this, and how to find help for her and for me.” As Helen’s condition deteriorated and Peter became more stressed, he found himself panicking.
It was through the network of services supported by United Way that Peter began to find some answers. He needed to sell their home and move to a small apartment, and eventually Helen went to live in a care facility where Peter still visits her every day. He has help with his housekeeping and meals, and spends time with a friend he met through a support program for caregivers. Their adult children live elsewhere, but are reassured that their parents are secure and receiving the help they need.
“I miss her all the time,” he says. “Sometimes she can remember and she’s right there with me, and sometimes not. It’s not nearly the same, but we are getting by, day by day.”
With your help, we can support Healthy People, Strong Communities :
- Help seniors navigate the network of services and systems.
- Advocate for those who are vulnerable and struggling on their own.
- Support families in times of crisis and grief.