Dan Robinson, 64, and his wife Mickey Robinson, 73, of Delray Beach, Florida, have been happily married for more than 30 years. In 2012, however, the couple received news that would forever change their lives. Mickey had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.
They were referred to Broward Health North's Memory Disorder Center, where Robinson, as Mickey's primary caregiver, could learn how to care for her. The Care Assistance Program (CAP) is a free program offered year-round with both day and evening classes that provide education on caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or related dementia.
In early 2013, Robinson attended the NightCAP sessions, which provided him with the tools and resources he needed to be educated about dementia, from managing difficult behaviors to caring for himself. While attending the program, he was introduced to several caregiver support groups and has been attending one in particular twice a month for the past five years.
The support group allows Robinson to interact with others who are going through similar experiences and to learn more about the day-to-day tools needed to help Mickey. In addition, being able to mentor new caregivers has bolstered his self-worth.
"This has been a powerful experience and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the support group,"- Robinson said. "I've developed friendships through the process and can honestly say that this has literally and figuratively been a life saver for me."
If you or someone you know would like more information on the Care Assistance Program, please call Veronica Pantuso, Family Counselor, at 954-786-7337.