For Stamford daughters, being caretakers to mother with Alzheimer’s is a 24/7 task

There are 80,000 people in Connecticut living with Alzheimer’s disease and twice as many caregivers than patients, many of whom are unpaid family members, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Dec 3, 2023, 11:14 PM

Updated 221 days ago

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There are 80,000 people in Connecticut living with Alzheimer’s disease with twice as many caregivers than patients, many of which are unpaid family members, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
News 12 Connecticut’s Angelica Toruno spoke with a family in Stamford on Sunday who knows firsthand what it’s like to take on the role of caretaker.
"It's incredibly sad…this is the thing I wish I knew the day we had the diagnosis,” said Adriana Reyes, a caretaker for her mother. “That I have to let go of the mom I used to know."
In 2021, after seven years of testing and evaluations, Mireya Diedz was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. That's when her daughters, Reyes and Lina Bracky-French, stepped in to become her main caretakers.
"I cannot conceive someone else taking better care of my mom than us," said Reyes. "Take her to the doctor's appointments, make sure she is well presented, therapy…every day I'm with mom 24/7."
Reyes is the principal caretaker and for that to be possible, her sister decided to become the primary source of financial support for the family. However, Bracky-French still doesn't think it’s enough.
"My sister takes on so much. I want to have more of a balance, more of a support system for her,” said Bracky-French. “Even though she feels pretty supported, I always have a little guilt feeling that I have more freedom that she doesn't."
Diedz says it’s a blessing that her daughters have willingly taken on these roles.
"I don't feel abandoned [at] any moment. They are the most adorable girls,” said Diedz.  “I'm very happy, I am very fortunate to have their assistance."
They have it down to a routine, but some days are worse than others.
“A week before my wedding, she didn't know I was getting married, she completely forgot about the whole thing,” said Bracky-French. “We adore her but sometimes you lose your patience or you get frustrated."
Despite the hard times, they say there are just as many good days.
The Alzheimer's Association has an around-the-clock helpline for caregivers, which can be reached at 1-800-272-3900.
They also have information available online with resources like support groups and other tools.


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