Alzheimer and Dementia Caregive Stories

About Caregivers

care-giv-er /'ker,giver

1. Someone who gives care;

2. Someone responsible for making decisions on another's behalf.

  • A daughter who lives near her Dad with dementia;

  • A sister caring with her brother-in-law for her sister;

  • A wife with a husband in memory care;

  • A son 1000 miles away supporting his mom who lives with his dad with dementia;

  • Someone navigating their Loved One's diagnosis who doesn't yet know their role.

Am I A Caregiver?

The Helm uses the term caregiver a lot. This site is for caregivers. The stories are by caregivers. You might be wondering who is a caregiver and if you are one. 

We tend to think if you made your way to this website, if you care about someone with dementia, you are a caregiver. But we realize you might not call yourself a caregiver. We realize your Loved One might have just been diagnosed or not yet diagnosed, and you are focused on them, not what role you will play. You might still be figuring what role different members of your family will play in caring for your Loved One. You might change roles over the course of your Loved One's illness. 

 

We don't want to force an identify on you -- just know that when we are talking about caregivers, we mean people who have been there. And, if you are there now, then this site is for you. 

Meet Some Caregivers

There's no one way to be a caregiver. Meet a few caregivers we know, and learn a bit about their caregiving roles and their Loved Ones.

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Caregiver

  • Age: Mid-40s

  • Caregiving Role: Lives 10 minutes away; caring with her mom and siblings; takes the leads on finances, legal, and insurance

Loved One

  • Relationship: Dad

  • Age: Mid-70s

  • Status: Diagnosed with Alzheimer's 5 years ago

Anita

Daughter

Regional Vice President

Master Problem Solver

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Early 50s

  • Caregiving Role: Primary caregiver; lived with until recently

Loved One

  • Relationship: Husband

  • Age: Early 50s

  • Status: Diagnosed with Alzheimer's 4 years ago; recently moved to Memory Care

Anne

Wife

Marketing Executive

Mom

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Early 20s

  • Caregiving Role: Lives 20 minutes away; caring with her dad; visits several times a week

Loved One

  • Relationship: Grandma

  • Age: Mid-80s

  • Status: Diagnosed with Alzheimer's 7 years ago; lives in Memory Care

Vanessa

Granddaughter

Daughter

College Student

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Mid-40s

  • Caregiving Role: Professional paid to provide support in Memory Care

Loved One

  • Relationship: Patients

  • Age: Mid-60s to mid-80s

  • Status: Living in Memory Care

Theresa

Nurse

Musician

Mom

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Late 40s

  • Caregiving Role: Lives several hours away; regularly visits for a few days at a time; caring with her brother-in-law

Loved One

  • Relationship: Sister

  • Age: Early 50s

  • Status: Diagnosed with Alzheimer's 2 years ago

Heidi

Wife

Journalist

Mom

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Early 30s

  • Caregiving Role Lives 1000 miles away; helps mom by doing research, calling into appointments, and making decisions

Loved One

  • Relationship: Dad

  • Age: Mid-60s

  • Status: Diagnosed 6 years ago; lives at home

Daniel

Son

Engineer

Master Researcher

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Late 50s

  • Caregiving Role: Primary caregiver; lives with mom

Loved One

  • Relationship: Mom

  • Age: Mid-80s

  • Status: Diagnosed 2 years ago; lives with daughter

Christine

Daughter

Physician

Mom

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Early 20s

  • Caregiving Role: Lives an hour away; caring with siblings and mom

Loved One

  • Relationship: Dad

  • Age: Late 50s

  • Status: Diagnosed 1 year ago; lives at home

Jason

Son

Recent Graduate

Writer

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Late 60s

  • Caregiving Role: Primary caregiver; lives with Loved One

Loved One

  • Relationship: Husband

  • Age: Early 70s

  • Status: Diagnosed with Alzheimer's 2 years ago

Regina

Wife

Small Business Owner

Mom

Caregiver

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Caregiver

  • Age: Early 30s

  • Caregiving Role Lives 15 minutes away; visits for several hours 5 days a week for activities and companionship

Loved One

  • Relationship: Friend's Dad

  • Age: Mid-60s

  • Status: Diagnosed 3 years ago

Henderson

Friend

Barista

Musician

Caregiver

Ready to learn more? Explore care decisions and learn what worked - and what didn't - for other caregivers.