Getting Old and Giving Care

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Taking care of our elderly community is only getting harder as the population in this area ages.

Alzheimer's is a disorder that can be a slow and painful process for family members. It's also a disease that can estrange loved ones as the person with Alzheimer's progresses.

Janet Gladis and her mother Margaret of Panama City have lived in the area for the last 20 years, but for the past three years the mother and daughter role has reversed for the two since Margaret was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Janet says it can be very hard because she gets so little relief from the day to day routine as a caregiver.

"She became the child and I became the adult. Then you laugh at it and go on. Then when the families call, you tell her the brother and sister are going to call, she says, ‘oh, I thought it was just you and me.’ "

A new organization hopes to offer some relief for family members and caregivers in the community who know someone with Alzheimer's.

The group is working to organize support groups, educate the community and get volunteers to help out caregivers in the area.

The group's next meeting is March 8 at 3 p.m. at the annex behind the Council on Aging. Anyone who is interested is invited to attend.