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Coronavirus pandemic adding to difficulty of caring for loved ones

Posted at 10:15 AM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 11:21:58-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. (KMTV) - Dave Wilson's mother Peggy has dementia. She lives at Country House in Council Bluffs. While Dave and his wife Terri live close to the facility, visits are difficult.

"There's a lot of confusion to start with and the masks just add to the confusion," Dave said.

The pandemic is not the only challenge the Wilsons are facing.

"The whole journey of, we helped out when we could, but Dad wanted to take care of her," Terri said. "He wanted to take care of his wife. He ended up getting sick, and I think a lot of that had to due with the stress from caregiving and he ended up passing away in February."

Acacia Deadrick, a program specialist with the Alzheimer's Association, says the Wilsons' experiences are reflective of a rough year for caregivers and families.

"There's just so much to think about when you're trying to connect with someone, when you have this disease already, their communication is a lot, they struggle with communication a lot more than people without the disease too," Deadrick said.

The Wilsons manage by finding a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Eventually it's going to go away and they are going to open those nursing homes back up and let people in, so you gotta look for the bright spot in the future," Dave said.

Dave clings onto the hope - that bright spot - will emerge soon.

"You'll be rejoined," Dave said.

For more information on caregiving, visit this link.