Welcome to today’s Wednesday Workshop and part three of our series on Becoming a Caregiver. Alzheimer’s disease is as challenging for the caregiver as it is for the person with the illness. Your loved one may eventually lose the perception that there’s a problem, but you’ll continue to sit witness to your loved one’s decline.
The changes and responsibilities that accompany caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can tax your body and your soul.
At times, you may feel frazzled and overwhelmed. It’s normal for caregivers to be frustrated and even angry toward the person who has Alzheimer’s. Instead of being overcome by guilt, try to recognize that these feelings are normal. Find healthy outlets for releasing these emotions. Share you feelings in a safe setting, for example – in a caregiver support group or with an understanding friend. Go for a power walk, punch a pillow, or have a good cry. But try not to direct your reactions at the person with the disease. The disease is what’s causing the changes in your loved one’s behavior.
Thinking for two will demand most of your attention and it will be hard to maintain your energy if you’re not getting enough sleep, ignoring your own physical needs, and spending every waking hour thinking about Alzheimer’s disease. If you want to be available to help your loved one, you’ll need to find ways to receive respite from your caregiving responsibilities. Without regular breaks, you’ll likely burn out, become ill, or lose the ability to positively affect your loved ones care. By taking care of yourself, emotionally and physically, you’re also taking care of your loved one.
To contact the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
For more information on this topic, call us at (877)760-9199 and be sure to tune in next week for our final episode and part 4 in our series on Becoming a Caregiver, as we discuss finding the support you need. Thanks for watching!