Care for caregivers.
When Whitney Oeltmann’s father was diagnosed with dementia in 2012, she and her mother, Linda DeMarlo, tried desperately to find resources and support in the community. They came up empty handed. Even the doctors were of little help.
Instead of wringing their hands, they decided to take action and founded Dementia Spotlight Foundation, whose mission is to offer advocacy, the arts, dementia education and programs for caregivers. With a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University, the Brookhaven resident was qualified to take the helm.
“Our motto is ‘life before loss, rights before research and care before cure,’” Oeltmann says. “We offer numerous online education programs, seminars and webinars for caregivers who have become like family to one another as they navigate the everyday challenges and emotional struggles of caring for loved ones.”
The organization also offers programs for patients. The most popular is the Memory Café where people with dementia connect with others and offer support, camaraderie and advice at 46 virtual meetings worldwide.
Having “been there,” Oeltmann knows how stressful caregiving can be, so the nonprofit provides funds for caregivers who need a short respite from their duties while their loved ones are being well cared for. Author and dementia advocate Gary LeBlanc is director of dementia education and manages the respite program and online groups.
For more information, visit dementiaspotlightfoundation.org.
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