An Alzheimer Caregiver

alzheimer caregiver heart

Don’t Let It Crack Your Heart

Nobody wakes up one day and says, “I want to be an Alzheimer caregiver.” You are either slowly consumed by the responsibility or thrust into it without warning. No matter how you transitioned into the role, the strains of caring for someone with Alzheimer disease are both emotional and physical.

If you attempt to do it alone without education and no plan, you will find your own life slipping away. Your physical and mental well-being will decline, and your emotions will start to take over. Although you love the person you’re caring for, it’s very natural for resentment and ill-feelings to manifest.

Left unchecked these emotions will lead to guilt and quite ultimately depression. Caregiving is one of  several things that can lead to depression. Researchers have found that a person who provides care for someone with dementia is twice as likely to suffer from depression as a person providing care for someone without dementia.*

You don’t have to continue down this path. You can find a balance that lets you feel love and happiness towards your loved one while still providing the best care possible.

How’d We Get Here?

However, nobody showed up at your front door, handed you a training manual, and offered to train you on how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Furthermore, nobody stops by and offers to relieve you from your caregiving duties.

Without this support, you are left feeling like you are constantly on duty, and you regularly worry about doing everything just right. You can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and you feel hope is lost. This leads to a crack in the caregiver’s heart.

Turning it Around

By understanding the disease and putting a care plan in place, you can reduce the bad feelings and find yourself actually enjoying time with your loved one.

A care plan will help you organize and communicate to others your loved one’s medications, medical condition, and care needs. With these documents in place, you will have better peace of mind when you leave your loved one in the care of another person.

Finding other people to help is also part of a care plan. By laying out your loved one’s daily routine and care needs, you can more easily identify tasks where others might be able to help. Creating a care plan takes time and regular updating but the rewards are worth it. Don’t be intimidated. By doing a little each day, before you know it, you will have a plan to use and share with others. Also, when possible, medical professionals should review your plan and provide their expert guidance. You can learn more here: Patient Care Plans – A Vital Tool for Caregiving.

Finding Lost Love

We all want our hearts to be filled with happiness and love. But, when caring for someone with a debilitating disease such as Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, that loving feeling can be lost, leaving your heart cracked. Your mind may be telling you to give up but your heart won’t let you. If steps are taken, the heart can be mended. By reducing your caregiver strain, you will feel less animosity towards your loved one, and potentially get more opportunities to enjoy quality time with them. So don’t hesitate any longer. You know you can turn your situation around and refill your heart with love.

*Caregiver.org

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About Mike Good

Mike Good is founder of Together in This an online community helping family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Through short, informative articles and easy-to-use tools, such as the Introductory Guide to Alzheimer’s, he helps them take control and have peace-of-mind they are doing the right things.

One thought on “An Alzheimer Caregiver

  1. Marshall

    Great article, Mike! I didn’t know what a “caregiver” was until after I had become one. At first I was “just the son” caring from Mom long distance when Dad was hospitalized. Then I got into it personally and was overwhelmed quickly. After beginning to learn more, I was much better able to plan ahead and get back to a loving relationship and not one of just the logistics of making sure Mom and Dad had everything they needed. I’m still on the journey, but now with the help of professionals, my sister-in-law, and my sister, we are managing a very successful long distance and local care network to maintain the best qualify of life for my parents AND my family.

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