Living or being a caregiver for someone with dementia is fulfilling. You’re helping them live a much more full and active life. However, it can also be both mentally and physically exhausting work. Many people go through this dilemma and these feelings. You are right to seek advice, since this is a very complex issue.
This article covers the feelings you might run into whilst living or care giving for someone who is showing signs of dementia.
Here’s a look at each stage:
Step #1 – Understanding & Denial
Men often dismiss dementia symptoms and cleverly compensate for deficiencies with reminder techniques to manage most of their daily activities. It can be tough to notice that something is going wrong for them. Plus, women may try to explain-away behavioral changes in their husbands, dreading the word ‘dementia’ and all it entails. The best solution to denial is knowledge. Check out the numerous reputable dementia websites and forums to learn more about what could be going on.
Step #2 – Why Me/Us
Anger is natural when this happens. Unresolved anger can even lead to elder abuse, and certainly contributes to caregiver burnout. The key to managing anger is to be able to express it in a safe manner. Communicating with others is a great way to work on releasing your anger. Things like talking to a family doctor, a trusted friend, or a professional therapist are a great help.
Step #3 – Deep Sadness
This is another natural emotion. Knowledge is again key. You can’t fix the disease but you can investigate the numerous methodologies and treatment plans. Other things like your community’s services for seniors can help as well. Plus, even sometimes retirement or nursing homes have programming to help.
Step #4 – Accepting a Different Person
Acceptance is the goal of any life change, and it should be your goal when dealing with a parent with dementia. It’s important to see your parents for who they are now. You are used to your parents as a partnership; now one of them is more vulnerable and the other needs your support. Their roles have changed and without ‘parenting’ them, you need to ‘partner’ with them. They’re still your parents, after all.
If you have any concerns or would like some help living more comfortably at home or booking an in home visit, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-866-982-2737 and speak with some about setting up an at home care assessment today.