Bridging the Gap: The Value of Comprehensive Dementia Support for Families

Dawn was barely keeping her head above water a year ago. The COVID-19 lockdowns were well underway, she was juggling a considerable teaching load and research demands as a University professor, and she was caring for her mother, who has dementia. As a result, Dawn was living on overdrive, and she was struggling. Fortunately, she was introduced to the Seniors At Home Caregiver Support Group, where she found solace and support that continues through today.

Gloria in Class
Gloria in Class

The group, which meets online weekly and offers support, information, and resources for those caring for a loved one with memory loss, includes family caregivers from every point on the caregiving spectrum.

“This group helped me regain my footing,” Dawn says. “The honest conversation about caring for someone who will continue to decline has helped me remain present with Mom during this sacred walk.”

Dawn learned about the Caregiver Support Group because her mother, Gloria, had participated in Seniors At Home’s Skyview Day Club prior to the pandemic. Each week, she attended Skyview’s escorted outings for people with early-stage memory loss, keeping her socially engaged in a safe environment and providing respite to Dawn. However, these outings quickly halted due to COVID-19 and Gloria’s social network unraveled. Fortunately, Skyview quickly transitioned into a daily online format removing the threat of social isolation.

At first, Dawn planned to focus on work while her mother joined the daily programming. But before long, Dawn found herself there on the couch with Gloria each morning, enjoying the activities and singing along.

“Though the camaraderie and laughter are enough to make Skyview well worth attending,” says Dawn, whose teaching background includes cognitive processes,  “the program also incorporates research-based techniques to enhance cognitive resiliency, including physical exercise, music, and intellectual stimulation.”

Gloria and Dawn
Gloria and Dawn

Skyview also connected Dawn to Seniors At Home’s experienced Dementia Care professionals and to other family caregivers who can support her on her caregiving journey like no one else can.

“Our quality of life has increased significantly since finding Seniors At Home. There are so many resources available to seniors and caregivers, such as therapy sessions, respite for caregivers, help to find a higher level of care, and so on,” says Dawn.

“I’m so impressed with the range of services available by Seniors At Home and JFCS. Including guidance while I’m navigating these new terrains. I am grateful.”

Dawn and Gloria’s story is not uncommon. Seniors At Home offers services and resources for the entire family. If you or someone you know needs assistance, reach out to Seniors At Home 415-449-3700.

Seniors At Home is a division of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, a trusted nonprofit institution that has been providing care since 1850. Our services are funded by fees and by donations for those who cannot afford the full cost of care for these critical services.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact Barbara Farber at, 415-449-3858, or click here to give online.