Sandra was the primary caregiver for three people: her mother and her father, both living with dementia, and her sister-in-law, who was living with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Recently retired, Sandra had fallen into the role of caregiver for all three family members and was struggling to cope with her new role.

One afternoon Sandra saw an ad at the library for an education session being offered by the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. She decided to attend. As she listened to the speaker, she felt a huge wave of relief sweep over her. So many of her questions were being answered. Looking around the room, she realized there were many other people in a similar situation. She was not alone.

At the end of the session, she approached an Alzheimer Society of Calgary staff member. As they chatted, Sandra learned that there were more resources available to her. Before long, she was connected with a peer support group where she met other caregivers who shared useful strategies and ideas.

“Each family seems to have their own tips and tricks, and hearing those can be really beneficial,” says Sandra.

When it was time to move her parents into care, Sandra once again connected with the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. As a result, she was able to work successfully with the care facility to move her parents into rooms on the same floor, with her sister-in-law moving into the same building.

The Alberta Retired Teachers Charitable Foundation is proud to support the Alzheimer Society of Calgary as they provide these education sessions, which help to ensure local caregivers like Sandra can access the knowledge and tools they need to cope.