When a family caregiver is providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia it is a tremendous burden, both physically and mentally on the caregiver. The responsibility on the caregiver increases dramatically as the disease progresses. For that reason, it is so important for the caregiver to know that relief is out there. For example, local Alzheimer’s organizations can provide you with information and community support systems and groups.
The stress and worry on the caregiver is overwhelming and can potentially cause them to become ill. It is imperative that the caregiver seek help immediately from a medical professional or mental health counselor if they begin to feel overwhelmed or not quite themselves. If a spouse or an adult child is home alone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s it can become unbearable to manage alone. This can cause many caregivers to suffer from a physical or mental breakdown.
The caregiver should not feel ashamed to seek help from a professional when needed. Also, if they feel like they need a short break, they can check into respite care, too. If they need a vacation or some time off, the caregiver can hire someone to stay with their loved one as needed. Another option to consider is that most nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer families the opportunity for older relatives to stay in their facilities for a short period of time. Additional information and assistance with suitable arrangements can be found through your local Area Agency on Aging.
Linda M. Strohschein