VALPARAISO | Donna Krawczyk has been taking care of her 88-year-old mother, LaVerne McGuirl, for about 10 years and knows what it's like to work full time and be a caregiver.
"My mom took care of my grandmother and I saw how she cared for her, so I wanted to care for my mom," said Krawczyk, of Valparaiso.
McGuirl suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's disease and has needed assistance for the past 10 years.
"My mom lives with me Monday through Friday and my brother, Dennis, takes care of her on the weekends," she said. "I'm lucky to have his help."
Krawczyk works full time and can't leave her mom alone during the day, so she gets assistance from St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center.
"I saw an article in the paper and decided to take my mom here," she said. "She was alert when she first came here and would sing and was very competitive with bingo and other games. When they played notes on a piano she could name the song quickly."
Krawczyk said it's very stressful working full time and taking care of her mom.
"But if it wasn't for St. Agnes center, I'd have to be home with her all the time," she said. "She stays busy here."
Krawczyk admitted being a caregiver is not easy but she has advice for others.
"Try to keep the person occupied with something they liked to do in the past," she said. "She loves to fold clothes here at St. Agnes."
Barb Kubiszak, director, said the need for a day care center for those with Alzheimer's is increasing.
"More and more people need assistance, and we are here for them," Kubiszak said. "We do a variety of activities here like storytelling, trivia, signing, crafts, games. This is National Family Caregivers Month, so we want people to know about us."
For more information about the center, 1859 Harrison Blvd., call (219) 477-5433.