Caregiving for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory loss diseases is a round-the-clock responsibility that often falls on family members. It can be an overwhelming responsibility to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, especially as the disease progresses. Not only is it painful to watch those we love struggle with memory loss, but in the later stages of the disease physical challenges, like speaking, walking and swallowing, also occur.
With November being National Family Caregivers Month, we have compiled a bit more information and a few tips for supporting beloved caregivers, especially those caring for individuals struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease.
What is National Family Caregivers Month?
National Family Caregivers Month is observed in the month of November and intended to honor and recognize the family caregivers in our lives. The goal of the national holiday, which was proposed by the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), is to raise awareness for the challenges of caregiving and increase support for caregivers. CAN is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and support for family caregivers.
The theme for this year’s National Family Caregivers Month is “Caregiving Around the Clock,” highlighting the tendency for caregivers to forget to care for themselves as they take on more responsibilities for the loved one in their care. The demands of caregiving for a person with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia can especially limit a caregiver’s ability to take care of themselves and place them at greater risk for anxiety, depression or poor quality of life.
Challenges of Being a Caregiver for Seniors with Memory Problems
Caregivers are no strangers to stress, but caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory loss diseases are especially overwhelming. There are legal and financial matters that must be addressed sooner rather than later since the progression of the disease will affect a person’s capacity for rational thought. And as the disease progresses, it can put a strain on relationships, especially if you’re a child caring for a parent. These high levels of stress can give way to anxiety and sleep deprivation, leading to caregiver burnout.
3 Ways You Can Support a Caregiver
You may want to help and support the family caregiver in your life but not know the best way to go about it. You can start by keeping it simple with a handful of helpful gestures:
Call, text or visit caregivers in person. It can be difficult to maintain relationships when you’re a caregiver, so do your part to keep that connection. The best thing you can do is reach out and make sure they know you’re in their corner.
Give Them a Break
Nothing is as valuable to a caregiver as time. Offer to sit with their loved one or look for a service to assist if you do not feel comfortable doing so on your own. Even if you’re only able to provide relief for a few minutes or hours it provides a much needed break for the caregiver.
Lend a Helping Hand
Caregivers have a lot of responsibilities, so help lighten the load. Prepare a meal, clean their home, tackle their to-do list, or run errands on their behalf. There are plenty of simple tasks that can make a big impact and provide an enormous sense of relief.
Memory Care and Respite Care Options at Edgemere
If you know of a caregiver who is looking for memory care options in the Dallas area, Edgemere may be able to help. At Edgemere, our memory care program is designed to provide residents with a calm and comfortable environment where they can receive the compassionate, specialized care they need.
Edgemere also offers respite care. Respite care affords caregivers a much needed break by providing a temporary stay in one of our beautiful memory care residences. Whether a few days or a few weeks, our memory care team not only takes care of Activities of Daily Living, like assistance with eating, bathing and toileting, but also provides activities designed for those suffering from memory loss.
If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about our community, please fill out the form below or give us a call at 214-615-7045.