Anyone who has been a caregiver for a person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia knows that there are times when you simply just can't take it anymore. It doesn’t mean you love the person less – it just means you don’t feel like you can cope another minute.
Here are some things you can select from to do when that happens:
Sign up Your Loved One for Day Care: Enrolling your loved one in day care can do wonders to relieve your stress and give you some blessed time for yourself. You may worry that the person will be lost without you, but most people with Alzheimer’s adjust. If you can’t afford this on an ongoing basis, do it at least for a while.
Obtain Around the Clock Respite Care: Around the clock respite care will give you even more time to yourself. You can have the person stay at a facility or with a friend, relative or neighbour. Again, if you can’t afford ongoing respite care, do it for a short period of time while you recharge your batteries.
Log on to the Alzheimer's Reading Room and Ask for Advice from Other Readers: You can pose a question on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room and ask “the collective brain” (as Bob calls it) to give you suggestions. Many highly experienced caregivers frequent this site and they will be happy to help out another caregiver.
Call in a Geriatric Care Manager: Geriatric Care Managers are health and human services specialists who help families caring for older relatives. They are trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management.
Contact the Alzheimer Society of Canada
http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/Living-with-dementia - The Alzheimer’s Society's website has ample advice for caregivers. It also has a helpline manned by trained professionals (1-800-616-8816).
Contact the Alzheimer Society of Canada: This is another helpful resource for burned out caregivers. The Society offers counselling and advice.
See a Psychotherapist: Nearly all overwhelmed caregivers could benefit from seeing a therapist. Therapists can help you better understand your situation and coach you on how to make time for yourself, as well as gain a better perspective of your care giving duties. It’s a good idea to get a referral from a friend or relative. A few visits can help, even if you don’t have the funds for long-term therapy.
Visit with Your Pastor: If you regularly attend church, talking with your pastor can be a good substitute for psychotherapy. A pastor can help you with the same things therapists do.
Have a Heart to Heart Conference with Difficult Siblings and/or Other Relatives: Sometimes the stress of dealing with difficult family members or relatives can be more difficult than actually providing care. If you are in this position try having a family conference to clear the air. Family counselling can also help in this regard.
Talk With a Friend: Finally, making time to talk with a friend about your feelings can be very healthy, especially if that person is also caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. You may want to set up regular times for coffee or outings.
Does anyone out there
have other ideas or things you have tried to reduce the stress of
What do you do when you feel like you just can’t take it another moment?