Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be incredibly stressful, emotional, and even traumatic. The emotional pain is particularly strong as dementia patients require long-term, intensive care. However, you are not alone.
There are more than 16 million people caring for someone with dementia in the United States. Unfortunately, there is no standardized cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Specific treatments are aimed at slowing down its symptoms, its progression and are designed to provide palliative care for terminally ill patients. In many cases, professional caregiving is the only thing we can provide to a person suffering from dementia, and it’s a remarkable gift.
Caregiving can be immensely painful, even for professionals working at in-home assessment services in Tampa. Dementia patients have special needs, and as their cognitive, functional, and physical abilities diminish over time, caregivers may feel overwhelmed. Because of the immense stress, caregivers can often experience burnout, depression, or exhaustion. Unfortunately, caring for a dementia patient is very demanding, and seeking help becomes a necessity for many caregivers. If you want help, try to contact an agency for elderly home care in Pasco. They have a team of professional caregivers who can provide assistance to dementia patients 24/7.
Caring for a person with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – a short guide
Caring for a person with dementia can be a traumatic experience, as you watch your loved one lose memories, lose the ability to move, think and take care of themselves. The person suffering from dementia will change and behave in a different, sometimes disturbing way. These changes can cause anger, confusion, sadness, and even despair for both the caregiver and the patient.
What’s more, as the disease progresses, your loved one’s needs will be more complex and challenging. Similarly, your loved one may not show appreciation for your hard work, as cognitive ability profoundly diminishes.
Here are the main challenges of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care:
- fatigue and exhaustion, often for extended periods isolation and loneliness overwhelming emotions as your loved one’s capabilities decrease school, work, and financial issues (inability to learn, work or perform adequately)
Rewards associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care:
- you create a special bond with the patient, through care, service, and companionship you form new relationships with various support groups your relationship skills improve you may be surprised by unexpected rewards, such as acceptance and compassion
Tips for looking after someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
Prepare for the long road ahead
When looking after a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you will learn a lot about the disease itself. Initially, during the early phases, when the disease has little to no symptoms, you can take care of your loved one with minimal effort. In many cases, patients are often independent and can function properly in their own homes. However, as the disease progresses, cognitive and physical regression will be profound, and your loved one will need 24/7 professional care.
The first tip is focused on this specific aspect of the disease – the regression of both cognitive and physical abilities. You’ll have to understand that the disease comes with a terrible outlook, and you have to create a detailed plan. Try to include your loved one in the decision-making process, especially if he or she is still able to understand the problem. Make sure to research all the options available. Luckily, there are many agencies for elderly home care in Pasco that can help you understand the disease. Also, contact a good in-home assessment service in Tampa to help you better understand your options and how to provide the best services for your loved one.
Questions to focus on:
Who will make healthcare/financial decisions when the person is unable to do so?
- – this is a difficult topic to think about, but talk to your loved one about this before they lose their cognitive abilities; make sure to get their wishes down on paper; consider the power of attorney to handle these delicate financial and healthcare issues; similarly, apply for conservatorship or guardianship;
how will the care needs be met?
- – sometimes, a close family member can provide the caregiving, but that is not always the case, especially if the person’s needs are complex; keep in mind that caregiving is a major commitment and is particularly stressful and demanding; family members have their own families, jobs and other responsibilities, so caregiving can be very demanding;
where will your loved one live?
- – ideally, living at home is the perfect solution, but as the disease progresses, your home will not be adequate; also, if your loved one lives in a rural, isolated area, alone or in a small community, caregiving becomes problematic.
Develop a support plan
Make sure to focus precisely on your loved one’s needs before developing a personal support plan. However, don’t neglect your own welfare. Here’s what to pay attention to:
ask for help
- – you will not be able to do it all alone; reach out to someone else for help – your family, friends or volunteer organizations; accept help for simple, mundane tasks, like grocery shopping or cleaning; these simple tasks can take a lot of time, and you will need this extra time to rest and recover; you have to pay attention to your own wellbeing;
learn simple caregiving skills
- – caregiving doesn’t have an instruction manual, but there are various skills you can learn from the professionals; as the disease progresses, you will need to learn more and adapt your skills;
join a support group
- – you’ll learn from the experience of others, connect with others who go through the same challenges; this will help you reduce feelings of fear, isolation, and hopelessness; contact an in-home assessment service in Tampa to get more information about the disease;
use available resources
- – contact various nonprofit organizations, helplines, training groups, or professional associations to get help; contact an agency for elderly home care in Pasco to learn more about the disease and how to cope with the challenges of caregiving.