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Struggling with the separation

Advice for families with loved ones in long-term care centers

MINNEAPOLIS — As the pandemic continues to pose a threat to our community, many families still struggle with the separation from their loved ones living in long-term care centers.

That separation is especially challenging for those who have Alzheimer’s disease and may not be able to communicate by screen or phone.

For advice on how to continue caring for your loved ones – and yourself – during this time, KARE 11’s Karla Hult sat down with the CEO of Alzheimer’s Association, Minnesota-North Dakota, Sue Spalding.

Spalding recommends people prepare themselves for how the disease may have progressed during this time of separation. She also encourages people to reach out to caregivers in long-term care centers to thank them for their work and check in on their loved ones.

And she reminds everyone the Alzheimer’s Association does have online support groups and a 24-7 hotline: 1-800-272-3900.

Spalding encourages caregivers – whether your caring for your loved one at home or if that person is in a long-term care center – to also care for yourself.

“You don’t have to do everything you used to do. Slow down, take the time. What absolutely needs to get done today? So that you get a chance to breathe, a chance to rest, a chance to rest your brain. That is really important that we take the time for ourselves,” Spalding said.

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