Dementia & Alzheimer's Series: #2

One of the on-going goals of this blog is to point to other sites and resources that we at Support For Home believe are useful for both professional and family caregivers.  One of those sites is SeniorsList

Not every article they publish is great, but a number of them are.  while you will find our business listed on the site, we do not necessarily think Internet sites are the best way to find home care agencies.  A local human whose business is to know the agencies in an area is a much better approach.

However, as I say, some of the articles are very good.  One that has just been published is “Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s,” by Murphy Ortiz.  The author begins by saying something that, from our experience, we all need to let “sink in,” and that is –

It’s very easy to say “I’ll never put Mom in a nursing home” when she’s healthy. But if you’re one of the many family caregivers of someone with Alzheimer’s, that promise may not be easy to keep.

There are still many folks who hold to that promise, but it can be very tough, and there are some critical points we believe family caregivers need to remember.  One of the most important principles, in our experience, is that the family caregiver must be able to be selfish.

Sounds strange, right?  What we mean by that is that we see too many families where the primary caregiver (and secondary ones, too, sometimes) is absolutely physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted, because she or he is not getting the respite that is vital to being able to go on.

When that respite is missing, provided either by other family or professional home care agencies, the chances of being able to keep that promise are significantly diminished.  It will be more expensive to bring in a home care agency to help than going it alone, but the chances of success, in keeping that promise, are tremendously higher.

As Murphy Ortiz writes,

Learn how to ask for help. You might be trying to do too much yourself. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s requires a great deal of patience and sacrifice, and one person can’t do it alone. Don’t feel guilty asking for help. You’ll be doing your Mom more good having help on your side…  Maybe you can ask a friend or family member to sit with your Mom to give you a much needed break. You can also contact a home care agency that can provide someone to assist your Mom with her care. These caregivers can also engage your Mom and participate in enjoyable activities with her.

It is a noble promise, and it is possible to keep it, but it means being willing to ask for help.

Best wishes, Bert


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