Some Care for Caregivers 

Debbie Rossignol’s mother, Barbara, was diagnosed with alzheimers six years ago. A year later, her mom moved in, and she’s been caring for her ever since. The Adult Day Program at Westgate Manor in Bangor gives people like Rossignol a place to turn for help and relief.She starts her day by dropping her mother off at the program on her way to work.”This is where she can get a lot of interaction with other people of her age and other people that have the dementia.””It’s really designed to help caregivers know that their loved one has a safe place to go to be during the week if they have to work.”The program runs Monday through Friday and is for people suffering from memory problems. Organizers run activities that are mentally stimulating.”We very often go into a current events segment where the activity coordinator will read some highlights for the paper and have a discussion. We do a fair amount of trivia.””They do bingo, my Mom loves bingo.”In addition to providing a safe and fun environment for the clients, the service gives caregivers time to take a break, recharge, or even just run some errands. “Care giving is a full time job. It’s 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s a lot of work. It’s emotionally draining as well as physically draining.””You do need your time just to yourself and not worry that she’s being taken care of.”Rossignol says the day program is helpful now, but eventually she’ll count on Westgate to provide long term help. “Right now it’s working out but we always have to look ahead.”