MENU

Living with Dementia

Stories from others Meet John & Evelyn

Helpful Downloads

Helpful Downloads

Meet John the caregiver 

John compares caregiving to learning a new job skill
 
At first, they thought it was job stress. After all, being a teacher of special-needs kids is hard work. But taking time off and being prescribed medication for depression didn’t help. At age 55, Evelyn Shyluk learned she had dementia. “It was a total shock to us,” says her husband, John. “We were hoping for something curable.” The first reaction was anger. “Why is this happening? We had all these travel plans.”
 
John compares learning to care for a loved one with dementia to learning a new job skill. “You need training, and the Alzheimer Society of Calgary offered me training to be a caregiver,” he says. “They are my lifeline.”
Today, Evelyn is 70, lives in long-term care and is in the late stages of dementia. “She’s in a wheelchair. She’s silent and can’t verbalize, but she still looks good, physically,” says John, who visits his wife regularly. “She still has her hearing and some long-term memory, so it’s important to keep talking. And it’s amazing to see how she responds to voices.”
 
“What I’ve learned is not to be afraid of it, and how to cope. I would strongly recommend people get in touch with the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. Take advantage of the Adult Day Program and support groups for caregivers.”
 
Source: Alex Frazer-Harrison
For Neighbours, January 2013
 
If you or your family have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, rest assured you are not alone. Evelyn is one of more than 13,000 local people living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias in Calgary and surrounding areas.  Thank you to John and Evelyn for sharing your story.

Helpful Downloads