Protecting Yourself While Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s disease

home-page-thumbnail-2More and more often, we encounter another member of our aging society who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

On a more personal basis, we may be that family who receives the diagnosis.

Becoming Overwhelmed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Becoming a caregiver of a child, spouse, or sibling who is suffering with this disease brings an overwhelming feeling of, ‘how can I do this both mentally and physically?’  Fear, denial, anger, hopelessness and a range of so many other unfamiliar emotions plague our minds and hearts.

No matter which emotions you are encountering, you remain confident that your number one goal is to treat your loved one with dignity, respect and gentle care.  A positive quality of life for your loved one’s life is your constant consideration.

Caring for yourself while Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease

Your goals and positive thoughts are admirable, BUT if you are not able to care for yourself, then all of your intentions are to no avail.  Just as we learn early on as parents, it is important to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our children.  We need to remember and nurture this same basic principle in our lives when caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease.

Ask For Help with Alzheimer’s Disease

NOW, how is this accomplished?  Well, to begin, DO NOT ever hesitate to ask for help; whether you are reaching out to another family member, a friend or a member of the medical, clerical, or financial communities.  Even in your darkest despair as a caregiver, BELIEVE there is someone waiting in the wings to GIVE YOU A BREAK!

It doesn’t make you a hero to DO IT ALL.  Instead, it can break you down and result in two people needing care.  So, have a backup plan. DO NOT feel guilty if you find it necessary to turn over responsibilities to someone else or just leave to get a grip on reality for a while.

We must remember the loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is suffering most, if not all, of the same emotions. However, they may not have the tools to seek help, peace or joy.

So many people who have come before you and me will tell us there are a multitude of ways to take care of YOU – so you can be your BEST for the one who is suffering with this disease.

  • Take a break – maybe somewhere else in the house, or somewhere away.
  • Call a friend to talk through your fears, frustrations and feelings in general.
  • Ask for help…maybe from a friend, another family member or a professional.

Above all, if you take care of YOU then you will be better suited to offer your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease the quality of life he/she deserves.