Mental Health

Both caregiver and Alzheimer’s patient can suffer from mental health issues. Here’s what you need to know to stay strong.

Courage, caregiver and good wishes this November

Courage, caregiver and good wishes this November


Do you know a silent hero this November?

Someone who cares for a husband or wife, a mom or dad, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, whether FTD, or vascular? Day and night; night and day; hours and hours usually without a break.

Someone who “sets aside the hourly heartbreak that comes from witnessing their pain.”

Then give them a hand (literally and figuratively)!

This National Family Caregivers month, friend and author Mara Botonis sends a November “valentine” to honor these champions, those who are…

  • Watching someone you love so much fight so hard against a disease that currently has no cure.
  • Setting aside the hourly heartbreak that comes from witnessing their pain, letting go of the frustration of not be able to “fix” the situation, managing the constant companions of grief and guilt.
  • Choosing to be physically and emotionally present for them when it is the hardest and most heartfelt thing you’ve ever been called to do.
  • To willingly choose to increase your own suffering in the hopes of easing theirs, that is “When Caring Takes Courage.”

The four pillars of National Family Caregivers month are:

  1. To raise awareness of family caregiving issues among multiple audiences.
  2. Celebrate the efforts of family caregivers.
  3. Educate family caregivers about identifying as a caregiver.
  4. Increase support for family caregivers.

If you are a family caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, thank you for what you do.

If you are not a family caregiver, reach out this November. It doesn’t take much to help someone caring, alone, during the 36-hour day.

(Learn how to help your loved one choose the right Medicare Plan for their needs, through the U.S. Caregiver Action Network.)

When Caring Takes Courage: A Compassionate, Interactive Guide for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers

Mara’s passion and life’s work has been to learn the best practices which capable caregivers (both professional and family member) use to find success, joy and hope in the face of this devastating disease and find a way to share that information with those who deal with dementia on a day-to-day basis. She is the 2015 Jefferson Award Recipient: Outstanding Public Service, and the 2015 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award Recipient: Outstanding Public Service on Behalf of and Throughout the United States. She continues to be an active speaker and advocate for those impacted by dementia worldwide. Learn more about her work at:

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Mara Botonis

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