Alzheimer's: From Patient to Caregiver | Uncategorized | Orlando Shakespeare Theater Alzheimer's: From Patient to Caregiver | Uncategorized | Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Alzheimer’s: From Patient to Caregiver

What you need to know about "Blackberry Winter," Alzheimer's, and the resources available to you.



In Blackberry Winter, Vivienne struggles with caring for her mother, an Alzheimer’s patient whose condition is showing signs of deterioration. In some of Steve Yockey’s most poignant writing to date, she confesses and confronts the myriad challenges of caring for someone who is vanishing slowly before her very eyes.

Playwright Steve Yockey on “Blackberry Winter” during the New Rep Theatre’s 2016 performance.

“The insidious thing about Alzheimer’s is that it’s incurable and it only moves in one direction. But that doesn’t mean talking about it has to be devoid of anything but sadness.” -Steve Yockey, on Alzheimer’s

While Blackberry Winter‘s narrative centers around Alzheimer’s disease, it’s played out from the viewpoint of a caregiver instead of a patient.

In 2015, more than 15 million Alzheimer’s caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care, which is estimated to be valued at over $221.3 billion. By the year 2050, this amount could rise by over five times to add up to over one Trillion dollars.

Caregivers are a very important, and often under acknowledged, group of selfless individuals. They do everything they can for those they take care of, often giving up various aspects of their life in order to make sure that others have the best care available to them.

List of resources for families, patients, and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s
For the people helping people with Alzheimer’s
There may be a point in time where you need outside assistance for the person in your care. Resources for anything from in-home help to a residential care facility to emotional support groups are available.
Connecting you to community services
The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services.

U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Through VA’s Caregiver Support Line and Caregiver Support Coordinators, you can find the support you need to provide the Veteran you care for with the best care at home. Both of these resources can help you find help that’s close to your home.

National Institute on Aging
Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center
“Turning Discovery Into Health” As a public, U.S. Government-funded resource, the ADEAR Center strives to be a current, comprehensive, unbiased source of information about Alzheimer’s disease. All our information and materials about the search for causes, treatment, cures, and better diagnostic tools are carefully researched and thoroughly reviewed by NIA scientists and health communicators for accuracy and integrity.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center
Support and Hope for Caregivers
For over 30 years, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center (ADRC) has served as a Central Florida based grassroots nonprofit and community resource center dedicated to providing support and hope for families and individuals caring for a loved one with some form of dementia. ADRC empowers caregivers with the knowledge, support and programs to help them prepare for and cope with the challenges that lie ahead. Our organization offers a variety of peer support groups, counseling sessions, educational programs and wellness events to help caregivers in the central Florida with the day-to-day tasks of caring for their loved ones, as well as maintaining their own health. Please visit our Services pages to learn more.

BrightFocus Foundation
Cure in Mind. Cure in Sight.
A page with more resources for Alzheimer’s community

Help for Alzheimer’s Families
Another page with even more resources for Alzheimer’s community

Click here for a one-sheet of additional resources.  

Click here to book tickets and for more information on Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of Blackberry Winter.

Kayla Jean Mraz, Orlando Shakes Marketing Intern