Grand Island woman raises awareness of the challenges of caregiving

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month and community members have taken the time to educate the public about the battles these people may be going through.

Grand Island woman, Marge Terman, cared for her husband, Burnie Terman, for several years after Burnie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. She remembered the hardest part of watching her loved one go through such a mental transition.

“Seeing the change and decrease in his personality and his communication skills, it was really hard to see,” said Marge Terman.

She went on to say that one of the biggest struggles she has experienced personally was not realizing that she was struggling with health issues herself as she provided 24-hour care. 24, 7 days a week at Burnie Terman.

“My family could see that my health was declining, I was losing weight and I wasn’t eating properly and things that they could see that I couldn’t see and I think that is very true for a lot of caregivers that they are starting to lose their health, ”she said.

It wasn’t until Burnie Terman said to himself on the sidelines that maybe it was time to ask for some extra help.

“The wonderful thing that happened, this wonderful Burnie woke up one morning and he said ‘Honey, I know there’s going to be a time when I can’t stay home anymore,’ Marge said. Terman. “It’s just too much for you, that you’re going to need any help,” and that was the greatest gift he could have given me. “

After discussing her concerns with her doctor and getting confirmation that the help Burnie Terman needed was too much for her

To manage on his own, Burnie Terman then moved into the County House Residence assisted living facility. Marge Terman said the staff at the facility were only helpful and like family.

“The best part about Burnie is that he always used humor, he never lost it until the very end,” said Brenda Wiltfong, Senior Housing Consultant at Country House. “So he was always joking and trying to let you know, have fun with you and so that’s one thing we really try to do at the county house is live in the moment.”

Wiltfong said she understands the difficulties that caregivers, like Marge, can go through.

“Help from caregivers can decrease faster than the person with dementia and so this is something people need to be aware of,” she said.

Having years of experience, Marge has offered advice to other caregivers.

“Some of the best care we can give our loved ones when it becomes too difficult for us, the best care we can give them is to let someone else look after their medical needs, their real needs and then we can relax a bit more and we don’t have the pressure to take care of them, ”admitted Marge Terman.

Burnie passed away from the disease last summer, but Terman continued to help others who were going through some of the same battles she had been through helping a loved one with dementia.

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