A Caregiver’s Challenge
Caring for a spouse, mother, father, another family or friend who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s or a different form of Dementia is one of the most difficult tasks a person may experience in their lifetime. (See also the experience of our Founder and CEO). The commitment it takes as a caregiver may even change your role from child to caregiver and decision-maker. It impacts every aspect of your daily life. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s and Dementia can be a long, stressful and intensely emotional journey as you begin to slowly lose the loved one that you know so well. As your loved one loses one ability after another, caregivers face many different challenges. From your loved one always asking to go home, repeatedly asking the same question in a short period of time, forgetting to take medication or taking too many. People with Alzheimer’s Dementia may sometimes be irritable, aggressive, withdrawn or depressed.
As there is currently no cure for Dementia, and only very limited medical treatments available for the symptoms, it is your caregiving that makes the biggest difference to the quality of life of your loved one. However, for the caregiver, it seems like tests after tests of patience and resiliency. At times, it can be overwhelming. It has been estimated that 30 to 40 percent of caregivers will experience depression, high levels of stress or burnout. Nearly all caregivers of Alzheimer’s and Dementia will at some time experience anxiety, sadness, loneliness, feeling “imprisoned” and exhaustion. The stress and sometimes extreme frustration from the burden of caregiving has a negative impact on your mental and physical health, which may cause you to be verbally or physically aggressive towards your loved one.
Asking for help is not a luxury but a necessity.
At Caring With You Dementia Enrichment Program Centre, our trained Alzheimer’s and Dementia team can be part of your journey with your loved one, to provide you the caregiver with support, respite, education and training. And for the person with Dementia, persons with Dementia, tailored activities that help them feel happy and fulfilled, while distracting them from thoughts that trigger negative responses such as anxiety, insecurity and despair.