My name is Karen Lawson and I have been a member of the Acts Support Group for over a year. I was first introduced to the Acts Support Group at a time when I was at my wits end. My Dad had just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and my Mother was at the beginning stages of dementia. All the responsibility had fallen on me since I am the oldest and the only sibling at home. It seemed as though I had no help, no support and I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
I woke up one morning, and something just told me to call my Pastor. I made an appointment to meet with Pastor George Hurtt and he referred me to the ACTS Support Group. To my surprise no, sooner than I got home Sharon had called me. She heard the desperation in my voice. Sharon and her sister Jeanie met with me the same day at their home. They were able to talk me off the ledge and help me to regroup and refocus…
I started going to the support group meetings, once a month, which gave me the knowledge and patience to face the challenges that were ahead of me. They taught me to focus on my self and take time for me in order to help my parents. I had lost that, because I was doing everything. I had to learn to speak up for myself and get my siblings to be more involved with the care of our parents. This would give me a break to focus on my well-being.
While attending the ACTS Support Group, I was able to meet wonderful people with exceptional knowledge and resources to guide me through the Veterans Administrations to get the care that I needed for my Dad. They also provided me with excellent resources in caring for my Mom with dementia.
My Dad passed this year on July 6, 2018. I must admit, I would not have been able to survive and stay strong in my faith without the ACTS Support Group. They have been my rock and strength throughout my Dad’s illness, and for this, I love them.
I feel so blessed to be a member of Mt Sinai Baptist Church.
I would like to thank, the acts caregivers support group for being there for me when I really needed help. Donating a airline ticket for me to come back to help my sister caregive for my mother. Appreciated the gift, can’t thank you enough in my time of need.
ACTS is an action oriented group. A safe place for caregivers to attend, feel reassured, and gain more knowledge about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In less than a year, they had investigated, reached out to many agencies and organizations who could bring specific information to the group.
ACTS has become a vital part of our local community that has very few support groups. The facilitators have a fierce commitment to this group. It’s easy for attendees to inform other caregivers about the group.
Petra Niles, M.S.G
Sr. Manager, African American Services
Education and Dementia Care Network
As I sat listening to the men and women share their heart-wrenching stories; I was impressed at how others in the meeting who had gone before them, had real-life solutions for some of the struggles. I reflected how fortunate I was that I wasn’t facing those trials; and then I began to hear a few familiar comments of what I had observed in my 86 year old mother. Little things that my siblings and I had just thought of as “getting old,” I’ve come to find out are subtle signs of dementia.
I realized that God had me there for a reason, to equip me for things to come. The support, friendship and information I receive from the ACTS group has given me a way to honor my Mother with patience and love rather than the automatic response of impatience and correction to forgetfulness or change in behaviors.
I’m learning what to anticipate…it’s not aging, it’s the disease.