BEACH AREA friends Barbara Allan, Chloë Arnould and Liliane Vidicek all share something in common—each has taken care of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Their collective experience has led them to create a new online resource to help others who find themselves in a similar position. With www.all-alz.com, the trio has created a website that provides information on everything from emergency services to estate planning.
“It’s so daunting in the first place when a loved one becomes ill,” said Arnould, who is the primary caregiver for her mother who has dementia.
Allan, meanwhile, experienced the need for a comprehensive “one-stop shop” website on the subject first-hand while caring for her late father. “There wasn’t anything,” she said. “I had to keep searching all through different sites.”
All-alz.com, which launched in January and is the product of nearly a year of research, solves that problem by collecting info from numerous sources and presenting it in one place, she suggested.
“People can follow their loved one through all the stages for clothing, or housing—everything,” she added. “People who are caring for someone don’t want to spend that time searching.”
Vidicek spoke to how the site would have benefitted her—while she was helping take care of a long-time friend’s father—had it existed.
“For me, it would’ve been very helpful to know about all these places to take them,” she said.
Caregivers can get in for free to theatres, for example, and the Art Gallery of Ontario offers free tours, she said. “You don’t know what to do with the person day to day,” she said.
For now, the site’s content is focussed on Toronto, but there are plans to expand to other Canadian cities.
“We are going to be rolling out the resources all across Canada,” said Arnould.
So far, Arnould says there has been strong interest in the local site, and some users are spending up to nine minutes at a time browsing the resources.
“The response has been incredible because so many people are being faced with this sitaution right now because of the aging population, and the baby boomers are just now going into the care facilities,” she explained.