As I reflect back on the many years dealing with the cognitive decline and significant dementia of my mother-in-law, there are those family members and friends who were truly there for me! You regularly kept in touch with me and wrapped me in your loving arms. You know who you are and I am so thankful for you!
At Esther’s funeral, I made the analogy between raising children (it takes a village) and caring for those with dementia (it takes a tag team). Husbands, wives, children and any family members involved in their care, along with paid professional caregivers need support because of the overwhelming high demands of the job. Provide support for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s.
Support for Families and Caregivers
Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can have high physical, emotional, and financial costs. The demands of day-to-day care, changes in family roles, and decisions about placement in a care facility can be difficult. There are several evidence-based approaches and programs that can help, and researchers are continuing to look for new and better ways to support caregivers.
Becoming well informed about the disease is one important long-term strategy. Programs that teach families about the various stages of Alzheimer’s and about ways to deal with difficult behaviors and other caregiving challenges can help.
Good coping skills, a strong support network, and respite care are other ways that help caregivers handle the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, staying physically active provides physical and emotional benefits.
Some caregivers have found that joining a support group is a critical lifeline. These support groups allow caregivers to find respite, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort. Many organizations sponsor in-person and online support groups, including groups for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and their families. Provide support for those family members or friends who are Alzheimer’s caregivers.
For more information, see Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging.
Taken from the National Institute of Health’s-National Institute on Aging
These words expressed my feelings as Esther was in the final stages of dementia:
“And I also hope that, as she slips deeper into oblivion, one sensation will remain forever: The feeling of being loved.”
Helena Bachmann Special Report USA TODAY.