According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 16 million people in the United States currently serve as a caregiver for a loved one with some form of dementia. Those caregivers are often overwhelmed and exhausted, and they tend to experience high rates of depression. These easy suggestions can help you support those selfless, exhausted caregivers.
Caregivers need support but are often hesitant to ask for help or even accept it when it’s offered. Be specific in what you’re suggesting in order to make it easy for the caregiver to accept. Instead of saying, “let me know what I can do to help,” say, “I’m free for two hours Friday afternoon. Let me drop by and stay with your husband while you get out of the house.” This concrete offer is very easy to accept.
Even though caregivers tend to feel alone in their burden, there are many outside resources available. Especially if you live in New England, think of enlisting home care Massachusetts to help shoulder the load. Home health care services can include anything from companionship to physical therapy to dressing and meal prep assistance. Encourage caregivers to take advantage of these valuable resources.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is an exhausting, thankless job that often makes a home feel more like a healthcare facility. At times, the best thing you can do for a caregiver is simply make their house and life feel normal again. Dementia patients often respond positively to time spent with familiar people. Visit often, and make those visits feel celebratory. Serve nostalgic meals. Bring children. It will lift everyone’s spirits, especially the patient and caretaker.
Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease that affects a patient’s entire family, especially the main caregiver. Make these offers of help a part of your routine in order to help ease the strain. Any amount of aid can make a real difference in an extremely stressful time.
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