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November 19, 2008

Caring for elderly ‘daunting task’

Susan Broyles (11/10, Letters) cited an incident of mistreatment of an elderly woman when she was getting a flu shot recently. I am sorry her 6-year-old daughter saw something that upset her.

I ask her to consider that the 60-something lady she saw with the elderly woman with Alzheimer’s or dementia was an overburdened caregiver experiencing what so many others in that role deal with daily.

Unless you have cared for an elderly person who suffers from dementia, you can’t understand the frustration and heartbreak it carries with it.

It takes divine grace to face this daunting task. Some days it pushes the caregiver beyond the ability to do it with patience and understanding.

I commend caregivers who have taken on this kind of responsibility, and I encourage them to seek help. They can contact their county agency on aging for assistance. They can also call churches in their area to inquire about support groups. The Internet is another source of information.

For anyone who might see a similar situation, I would ask that you respond with compassion and a kind word or smile. Sometimes that small gesture can be a lifeline to someone who is hanging on by a thread.

Nancy Whitacre


KC news Hound

Amen and families should do it.

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