Caregivers Take a Break with Comstock
Caregivers, are you needing a break? Perhaps you need to take care of your own medical issues, or other important matters that need attention soon. But affording respite care for your loved one who has frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) or one of its related disorders makes you hesitant about taking that time away.
FTD is a particular form of dementia and related diseases of the brain which causes changes in behavior, personality, language, motor skills and functional activities of living. While memory is mostly preserved in these brain disorders, language abilities decline progressively. FTD mostly affects people older than age 50, but there are patients as young as 20 years of age. The average age at diagnosis is 57 years of age. Patients usually live up to 8 years after diagnosis, but some live up to 20 years more. Often these patients are mistakenly thought to have a mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease. The course of the disease in different patients is highly variable.
Caregivers for these patients may find their loved one’s progressive and unpredictable changes in personality, motivation, and emotional attitudes quite challenging, and it is understandable that caregivers are worn out by their increasing dependency.
There is a non-profit organization of other caregivers and patients with FTD which can help you with caregiving issues, medical information, and even help you take a respite care break you need. It is the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration in Radnor, Pennsylvania, which is online at www.theaftd.org
Comstock Caregiver Respite Grants help full-time, unpaid caregivers arrange short-term daytime or overnight care for loved ones diagnosed with FTD. Caregivers decide how to best use the funds based on their situation and needs. The maximum annual Comstock grant is $500. There are few requirements other than having a loved one who has a documented diagnosis of FTD. Caregivers who have received a grant in previous years are welcome to apply again. The application for the grant is available online at the website www.theaftd.org under the tab Life with FTD and the drop-down tab Support for Caregivers. Or call the Association for information, phone: 267-514-7221.
AFTD also sponsors telephone support groups for caregivers who cannot attend a face-to-face group. The toll-free number is AFTD’s HelpLine at 866-507-7222. The small groups, targeted to need, are led by experienced leaders, and meet monthly with a toll-free conference call.
Caregivers of FTD patients have some priceless opportunities for support and rest by participating in these two services from the Association.