PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) – Who cares for the caregiver? That’s a question Hattiesburg Clinic Neurologist Dr. Ronald Schwartz has been working to answer since 2016.
Schwartz, who also serves as the Director of the Memory Clinic at Hattiesburg Clinic, uses his appointment times for more than treating diseases of the brain. He takes the time to listen to his patients and their loved ones.
Years ago, he began to notice families, who had a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, were struggling with the same issue.
“Daughter goes to work and Mom is by herself. Her dementia is getting worse and she is worried about leaving her alone. But she can’t quit work and she has to stay with her a couple of days a week, and this is getting harder and harder. So, what do you do?” Schwartz explained.
Schwartz wanted to help caregivers, so he started disentangleAD.
“The AD stands for Alzheimer’s Disease. We began this organization back in 2016 basically to fill a gap where I saw that caregivers were not having access to things they needed on a day-to-day basis: Such as homesitters, small home repair projects, things that insurance won’t pay for,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said disentangle AD gives caregivers mini-grants which are somewhere between $250 and $1,000 per applicant for time-limited services.
“Oftentimes these are for someone to come sit with a loved one in the house or an adult daycare program, or a small home repair like a ramp or a wheelchair ramp. Something we can accomplish in a short period of time without a whole lot of complicating factors,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said the outreach doesn’t end there. disentangleAD hosts the Caregiver Conference every November.
The conference is a fundraiser for disentangleAD, and it’s a day full of resources and guidance that focuses on the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. This year is the first time it’s going virtual.
“It gives caregivers a resource to access other people who have information that they may need. Whether that’s vendors with an assistant living facility, or memory care centers, whether it’s people with home equipment,” Schwartz added.
The year’s conference takes place Friday, Nov. 5 via Zoom from 9:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you want to be a part of this Caregivers Conference go to Disentangle AD website to register here, then you’ll be emailed a zoom link and speaker handouts on Nov. 1. Schwartz said this conference is free and open to everyone, and it can be viewed on disentangleAD’s Facebook page.
Schwartz said even though it will be streamed on Facebook, it’s imperative that those interested register on disentangleAD’s website so they can submit questions that will be answered during the conference. Here is the link again: disentangleAD.com
Registering on the website also ensures you receive the speaker handouts.
If you have any questions, please call (601) 579-3395
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