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A caregiver story continues.

"I want to quit this job! Caregiving stinks," Al told me.

Al and I spoke on the phone after he had spent a week visiting his 84-year-old mother in Phoenix after he tried to take care of her ever-increasing needs. When Al arrived at his mother's home, there were stacks of mail going back longer than eight months that she had yet to open. When he asked her about it, she said she would get around to it. He offered to go through it with her, and in the process found months and months of unpaid bills and several shut-off notices. Al said he was feeling pretty good about helping her sort it all out and thought they had things back on track. Then, on Friday, his mother went to run an errand to pick up a few groceries and came back an hour later empty handed. Al asked what had happened and she said she got to the store but forgot what she went there for so she came back. At that point, Al realized his mother needed more help than just sorting through stacks of mail; and grief and frustration welled up inside of him. Al has extended his stay in Phoenix and tomorrow he and his mother will visit her doctor. Clearly, big decisions are ahead of them. I asked Al to stay in touch, and with his permission, I will share their story.

If you would like to share your caregiver story, please call Colleen Fritsch at 651-234 -2222.

Education and resources caregivers might find helpful

Family Caregiving Strategies

More than ever, families face the practical and emotional challenges of caring for elders. Whether sudden or gradual, these responsibilities can be unfamiliar and overwhelming, particularly for working adults. Is your family ready? Learn about resources and strategies that can help maintain everyone's dignity and connectedness. Join us from 6:30 to 8 p.m on Thursday, June 13, at Hastings United Methodist Church, 615 W 15th St.

Memory loss support

Memory Loss Support Group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 1:30 to 2:30 the private dining room at Regina Medical Center. Contact Kim Schrader at 651-404-1383 for more information.

Vision loss support

Vision Loss Support Group meets the fourth Thursday of each month from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. in the activities kitchen at Regina Medical Center. Contact Kim Schrader at 651-404-1383 for more information.


For a resource guide for service providers who can help in your caregiver journey, please stop by the Hastings Senior Center in the Tilden Community Center, or go online to: -county-eldercare-resources.

If you would like to submit a question or concern about your own caregiving experience, and get direct, one-to-one information and advice from a licensed social worker and eldercare advisor, please visit: http://www.darts1. org/online-caregiving-advisor or call 651-455-1560.

If you have a caregiving story to share, we would love to hear from you. Contact Colleen Fritsch at DARTS, 651-234-2222 or Colleen.Fritsch@