How Passages lent me a hand
Marion Harmon (Master of Public Administration, ’07)
One of our feature articles explores the services of Passages Adult Resource Center, the Area Agency on Aging for five counties in the North State. Like many other caregivers who have received assistance from Passages, I would have been lost without their support as I’ve cared for my aging parents for the past two years.
My involvement with Passages began with a series of workshops on campus. We learned about topics like the differences between trusts and wills and the signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia. I didn’t realize how relevant that would be until months later when my father had a stroke, putting his Alzheimer’s symptoms into overdrive. This left my mother to deal with all the day-to-day decisions, and left me and my husband struggling to guide her through myriad issues.
I can’t even begin to measure the benefits I received from the on-campus support group for caregivers: to hear that others were experiencing the same challenges, to get information that could help resolve an issue, was an enormous comfort.
A Passages family consultant also helped me find legal assistance, caregivers for my father, and other resources. The knowledge I received about resources for seniors and caregivers proved time and again to keep me on the right path in helping my parents. And the family consultant’s understanding and caring helped me through some rough times.
As those of us in the “sandwich” generation are discovering, we need help finding the right resources and making the right decisions to help our elderly parents. There isn’t a week that goes by that I am not reminded of the invaluable information provided by Passages, and I urge those of you with similar needs to contact your Area Agency on Aging.