Everybody needs a break sometime, and especially those who are taking care of loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other conditions that steal the minds of their victims a little at a time.
For now, there are no cures for these despised diseases, but there is always hope when so much is being done to try to find one.
In the meantime, many people are taking care of loved ones who are victims of those diseases, and they need some time away.
Soon after Kevin and Pam Gilligan moved to Georgetown from Charleston, they saw that need, and that it was not being fulfilled. After talking with their neighbors and other people in the area, they set out to establish Tidelands Respite Care, a 501(c)3 charity nonprofit that gives caregivers a break and has a positive influence on the participating patients.
Pam Gilligan worked in respite care in Charleston for several years, and she is also a long-distance caregiver, having helped take care of her mother, who lived in Washington State while Pam lived in Washington, D.C., after she was diagnosed with Parkinson disease.
Kevin Gilligan, who is retired, was good with paperwork and helping to do what was needed to create the nonprofit.
The program is now in three churches, with volunteers making it work, giving caretakers a peaceful break with the knowledge that their loved one is not only being taken care of, but entertained, challenged, fed, and loved.
Pam teaches the volunteers in several facets of care. She has patterned the program after that of the Brookdale Foundation of New York. One of the beautiful things about the program is that is nondenominational, she said.
Tideland Respite Care is now in Shepherd of the Sea Lutheran Church in Horry County, and in Georgetown Presbyterian Church and St. Paul Waccamaw United Methodist Church in and Georgetown. The cost is $40 per day, and that goes into keeping the program going.
If you would like to provide entertainment, volunteer in any capacity, learn more about Tidelands Respite or are a caregiver looking for a break, call 843-991-7879. Tidelands Respite Care is also on Facebook.
Peggy Mishoe, email@example.com, 365-3885.