Caregivers need help

My 83-year-old mother and I thank you, Congressman Jody Hice of the 10th district, for giving your support by signing on as a cosponsor for the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (HR 1676).

 

Until my 82-year-old father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, I had no idea what living as a full-time caregiver would entail – and I still don’t. It is my mother who works hard 24/7, 365 days a year to make every day a good day for my father. She is my hero.

Most anyone would recognize the term hospice care. Hospice care is comfort care that begins when treatment for a terminal illness stops, and it is clear that the individual will not survive.

Palliative care, however, begins at diagnosis and continues during treatment. The Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (HR 1676) would improve education and training for all health care professionals, increase the awareness and benefits of palliative care to support those with serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, and enhance research on the delivery of palliative care.

But no matter how strong, loving and dedicated she is, my mother is only human and is in need of knowledgeable help to care for my father so that her own health is not compromised. And though I try to help her and be there for both my parents as much as possible, I realize there will possibly come a time when placing my father in the full-time care of a medical facility is inevitable.

Our family needs comfort, compassion and guidance from trained health-care professionals so that each day can be a good day for my father.

Please join me in thanking Congressman Hice for his support of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (HR 1676). For more information go to alz.org or visit www.alz.org/advocacy/federal-priorities.asp

Tammy Kay Brunson

Thomson

 

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