Alzheimer’s Caregivers Need Support Too

Alzheimer’s Disease continues to place a burden on governments and health care systems.  However, many people fail to recognize the impact on spouses and family members who are often the first line of support and caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients.

Alzheimer’s caregivers are often family members who provide in-home care for approximately 70 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  With an aging population this means that the primary Alzheimer’s caregiver is quite often an elderly spouse with their own medical problems.

Alzheimer’s caregivers are subjected to enormous amounts of stress brought on largely by the demands associated with caring for an Alzheimer’s patient.  Caregivers often fail to take time for themselves and caring for their loved one as a duty.

Many people who find themselves in the role of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver lack both the knowledge and training required to care for a person who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  Quite often the Alzheimer’s caregiver does not know how to respond to behavioural changes associated with Alzheimer’s.

Local Alzheimer’s associations will often have support groups and will provide training for those who find themselves in the role of Alzheimer’s caregiver as well as information on various government programs available to assist in the caring of the Alzheimer’s patient.  These support groups are filled with people who know what to expect of this brain disease and willing to provide assistance to the Alzheimer’s caregiver.

Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver often means putting ones life on hold but as a family member it is important to realize that having a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is nothing shameful.  Asking for help is okay and is not an indication of failure as an Alzheimer’s caregiver.

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  1. Thanks for posting this… we have had a family member that has been dealing with this disease and you are right it is definitely ok to ask for help, although I know it can be hard sometimes. If anyone in the North Carolina area is looking for some home help I would suggest this home care huntersville company. We have had a great experience with them.

  2. I totally agree with this article but “how” does one ask for help?

    I’m not talking about how one would find the appropriate links or services, I’m talking about “how” a caregiver of a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s mentally prepares themselves to “ask” for help.

    In today’s society the act of asking for help is perceived as a weakness or failure. How we currently treat an individual severly affected by Alzheimer’s by caring for them within locked units holds negative connotations. Asking for help generally means that you were not able to do what you were trying to accomplish and now need assistance from others. As this article relays, often caregivers are family members. How can a family member admit defeat, open themselves up to the possibility of negativity or ridicule and in the end relinquish care?

    Should governments be placing more funds in support programs? Should more funds be utilized for education sessions to abolish the negativity associated with this disease? How do we change culture? Any thoughts?

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