Caregivers Attend Face to Face Family and Friends Festival

After being a parent, it is one of the toughest jobs you will ever have that you do not get paid for: being a caregiver for an elderly loved one.

On Friday, more than 400 caregivers gathered at the American Bank Center for the sixth annual Face to Face Family and Friends Festival. The day-long event caters to those caring for their loved ones who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

At the event, caregivers learned about the local medical resources available to help them care for their elderly family member, and even got to ask some experts about legal matters, Medicare, Medicaid and how to cope with the challenges of being a caregiver.

"It can be a very isolating experience," said Dana Simmons, who cares for her 90-year old father. "A lot of people don't understand, you don't have the opportunity to go out like you used to, yet you prefer to help and care for your loved one instead of put them into a facility."

"To be a caregiver, there is no definition, because there is such a heavy investment from emotions and hard work," said Dr. Nestor Predario, a board-certified general psychiatrist. "It is very hard to be a caregiver."

An estimated 5.4 million people have Alzheimer's disease, 40-percent of Alzheimer's caregivers end up suffering from depression.


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