When you first find out that someone close to you has Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, it can be a shocking and upsetting experience. And if the person is your spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent–or even yourself–it can be overwhelming.
You may feel like there’s nothing you can do but stand by and watch as they slowly slip away from the life they once knew.
Caregivers deserve all the love and support they need to get through challenging situations like these. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help family caregivers – especially for those who require Alzheimer’s Support BC.
What is a Caregiver?
A caregiver is a person who assists a family member or friend–not just physical help but also emotional support.
Caregivers offer assistance in all kinds of ways, including preparing meals, taking someone to doctor’s appointments or therapy sessions, and more. Many will also help with more intimate and personal tasks, such as helping them dress for the day, feeding them when they have trouble feeding themselves, and ensuring that they are safe when they are out of their regular setting.
For those with Alzheimer’s, a caregiver understands their specific needs, respects them, and ensures that they get the care they deserve. The same is true of caregivers helping this with dementia – with different outcomes and expectations.
Caregivers can range from family and friends to professional palliative care. Professionals who specialize in dementia & Alzheimer’s care often coordinate with doctors and nurses to make sure the patient is receiving the right medications, keeping appointments, and reporting changes in behavior.
How Caregivers Struggle
There are many difficult moments in the course of an elder’s life, but caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be incredibly daunting.
The caregiving process can be overwhelming to deal with–especially since degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia don’t come with a cure.
Family caregivers can experience a variety of challenges when caring for their loved ones, including:
- Decreased physical health
- Increased stress, anxiety, or depression
- Financial difficulties
- Loss of personal time and space
- Changes in the relationship with the patient
- Inability to care for one’s self beyond basic needs
These struggles – among many others – can make it increasingly difficult for those trying to offer dementia or Alzheimer’s support to individuals.
How Family Caregivers Can Cope With these Difficult Moments
There are many things that family caregivers can do to avoid burnout. When it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia care, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for what works best for everyone. However, these professional tips should help you through some challenging times without falling apart.
1. Do Your Research
There are many challenging moments that come with caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but they are also opportunities to discover new things about the patient–and yourself!
Researching on Alzheimer’s and other dementias will help you better understand your loved one. This can be tremendously helpful when it comes to finding in home care for seniors with dementia, as well as understanding why your loved one may be behaving a certain way.
2. Find Support Among Family and Friends
Unfortunately, many family caregivers feel “trapped” with their caregiving duties and assume that they must suffer alone.
It’s completely natural to feel like you’re the only one going through difficult moments like these, but rest assured that you aren’t alone. It’s not easy for family caregivers to find support, but it can make a world of difference in your quality of life and better prepare you to care for your loved one.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Working as a caregiver is hard work–and if we’re not careful, we’ll burn out. Providing care for someone with dementia requires patience, strength, and clear thinking–all of which are easier said than done.
That’s why it’s super important to take some time out of your day to attend to your personal needs. This can be anything from spending time with friends and family, enjoying a hobby or pastime you enjoy, or exercising regularly.
4. Prepare a Game Plan for the Future
There are many difficult moments that come with caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but they are also opportunities to discover new things about yourself and your loved one!
One way to prepare yourself ahead of time is to have a game plan for what you’re going to do in specific difficult moments. For example, what you’ll do if your loved one becomes verbally or physically abusive, how you’ll handle unexpected changes in behavior, etc.
A good game plan for you and your family can help set expectations and prepare everyone involved for what the days ahead may look like as you continue to care for your loved one.
5. Hire an Alzheimer’s Support BC Service
One of the best ways to cope with difficult moments is by calling in reinforcements. Many family caregivers are reluctant to ask for help, but it can make a world of difference in your quality of life.
An Alzheimer’s support service is an excellent option for busy family caregivers because they provide many types of care all under one roof–including Alzheimer’s & dementia care. While it may seem awkward at first to ask for help, you’ll be glad that you did!
Find Alzheimer’s Assistance with Big Hearts Home Care
For family caregivers seeking skilled Alzheimer’s and dementia care in VancouverMany difficult moments come or who wish to learn more about the advantages of hiring a home care expert, we invite you to contact Big Hearts Home Care.
At Big Hearts Home Care, our team of Alzheimer’s specialists has the skills and resources necessary to help with any home care services for seniors or disabled individuals in our community.
We are proud to offer Alzheimer’s support BC for those who may need help in offering family caregiver services – as well as home care services for elderly and in home care for seniors with dementia.
With a variety of services available, we can offer premier Alzheimer’s Support BC that is tailored to the needs of our clients and their families.
Want to learn more? Contact Big Hearts Home Care today to find out how home care services Vancouver can bring peace of mind and hope to you and your loved ones today.