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COVID-19 means no breaks for Alzheimer caregivers
Frances and Bob Kyle are seen in this undated family photo.
LONDON, ONT. -- Happily married for 38 years, Frances Kyle never saw it coming, but four years ago her husband Bob, 74, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
“It is not easy,” said Kyle. “At the beginning, I had a lot of anger and I was just angry because I thought what is wrong, why can't you do this?”
But with help from the Alzheimer Society of London and Middlesex, along with McCormick Home, Kyle was able to adjust to her new life and cope.
Both offered daycare and recreation programs along with respite, however since COVID-19 it’s been more difficult.
“Once COVID hit we had to close down the day program in mid-March,” said Karen Johnson, the director of Dementia Services at McCormick Home, but in no time they came through with new forms of support.
“(We) very quickly came up with the idea of Caregivers' Corner. Which is a new part of our website and it offers social recreation, ideas, downloads and support and as well a lot of nursing care information,” said Johnson.
The Alzheimer Society also moved quickly online, “We were able to move all of our social rec programming up to a virtual social rec space, our public education has now moved up to a virtual space.as well,” said Carol Walters, CEO at the society.
And at a time like this, Kyle truly appreciates the help, “I've got to tell you, it hasn't been easy, but I can't thank them enough.”