How To Help a Family Dealing With Alzheimer's
Caregivers providing support for someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia have taken on a very intense responsibility. It is critical for their long term well-being that they receive the support of family and friends.
Many caregivers are hesitant to ask for help. There are lots of reasons caregivers may feel this way ...
- they don't want to burden others
- they don't trust that others will know how to deal with the complications and unique behaviors of Alzheimer's
- they are embarrassed
- their family member, in a lucid moment, has asked them not to bring in anyone else
- they don't know of local available options and don't think help is available
- they know how busy their friends and family are with their own lives
- they feel family should "take care of their own"
- they want to keep family matters private
And, these are just a few.
Be persistent. Don't ask if they need help. Suggest something.
Volunteer to go to the store. Can you read a book out loud or play music or sit and watch television with the person with Alzheimer's? Could you make dinner one night a week? Could you help with dusting or walking the family dog? Would the family like a visit from your per? Do you play piano?
Be creative. Help can come in many many forms. Don't limit yourself or feel that you have nothing to offer. You do!
One way to help is to research resources. Would the following be options in your area?
- respite service
- adult day care
- home health services
- home delivered meals
- evaluation by a caregiver specialist
Want to know more?
Also, be aware of the signs of caregiver stress. Stress can have harmful mental, emotional, and/or physical effects. In a caregiving situation, it can lead to elder abuse. Don't let a caregiver get to that point. Be a good friend and help them help themselves.