Catching up with a caregiver, one year into the pandemic

Local News

LAKELAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s been difficult for everyone to adjust to a life of isolation but for many caregivers, that was part of their reality before. The pandemic has made it even harder.

In April 2020, NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla introduced us to a caregiver and her mom. Now, a year later, she’s catching up with them again.

Annette Adams Brown has been a caregiver since 2012. First for her dad and now for her mom, Bertha Adams.

Since last year, her condition has progressed. Being a caregiver has become a little harder, but Annette has a little more help!

Annette’s granddaughter, Monét Brown, has been staying with them for a few months and she’s been a blessing in disguise.

Left to Right: Bertha Adams, Monét Brown, Annette Adams Brown

“It’s just amazing how she’s [Monét] here and she fills in the blanks. So, when there’s a lot of repetition she answers questions and she helps her get dressed,” said Adams Brown.

For her and the thousands of other caregivers, the pandemic has brought new challenges.

“In New York State there are about 586,000 unpaid caregivers and those caregivers provide an estimated 774,000,000 hours of caregiving.”

KATRINA VANFLEET, Chief Program Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association CNY Chapter

There’s no such thing as a day off for caregivers.

Annette leans on family members who call Bertha so she can run errands. She also relies on tools from the Alzheimer’s Association CNY Chapter and takes them on outdoor trips when the weather is nice to keep all of them relaxed. It’s a combination she recommends to all caregivers.

Being a caregiver is an immense ask, but even on her hardest days, Annette says it’s worth it.

“She’s [Bertha] been here for me. So, and this is three generations strong.,” said Adams Brown.

These kids are just a blessing. They don’t have no idea what it’s like having them around.

Bertha Adams

For this trio, through all the ups downs of the pandemic, the feeling is mutual.

“There is a blessing in the lesson amidst the chaos. And if you can focus on those things you’ll find what you need to get you through.”

Annette Adams Brown

Those at the Alzheimer’s Association CNY Chapter say it’s crucial for caregivers to take time for themselves.

If you need resources, tools, or simply someone to talk to, you can always call the 24-7 Alzheimer’s Helpline. The number is 1-800-272-3900.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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