Alzheimer’s is a unique disease that brings with it a unique set of circumstances that family caregivers are required to navigate. Each stage brings different challenges, some more difficult than others. At the same time, caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s carries with it unexpected rewards. These may include a relationship that grows deeper, a growing sense of compassion, friends that are met through social circles relating to caring for a loved one, as well as deepening appreciation and understanding of one’s own abilities, including the ability to care and provide for a family member in deteriorating health.
There are 15 million people in America caring for a loved one with a form of dementia. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of these caregivers will experience depression or burnout. Knowing what to expect, what to look out for, and how you can help while maintaining your own physical and mental health will help you make this journey a successful one.
Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently. For many, it is a disease that is slow to progress, giving family members and caregivers time to address key issues and enjoy each other’s company in the early stages. As the disease progresses, it’s important to remember that the changes you see occurring in your parent are the result of neurons dying in the brain as plaques and tangles disrupt sensitive communication lines. It is not your parent or a defect in their personalities.
Training and Coping
As with any role, an understanding of what it entails and how best to achieve desired goals goes a long way in instilling a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and confidence in both the caregiver and those that they care for. The Alzheimer’s Association as well as AARP offers online courses with this end-result in mind.
As the African proverb reminds us, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” So too does it take a community and group support to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Throw your net wide when putting together a caregiving team and if someone offers help, say “yes.” This is one of the gifts of caring for your parent, learning the art of accepting help graciously and without hesitation. Some offers will be small compared to the degree of need, but these small acts add up to big support. One person offers transportation to the Alzheimer’s support group at the local senior community center. Another prepares a meal one night a week and shares it with your parent. And the list goes on.
And don’t forget your local senior care provider who has cared for countless seniors facing this disease. These professionals can care for your parent while you care for yourself. And you can relax knowing that your loved one is in good and capable hands while you include activities in your life that bring you joy and enable you to recharge.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Cinco Ranch, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week