Alzheimer’s caregivers often resist asking for help because they feel that no one can take care of their loved one like they can, or they feel a sense of guilt when considering asking for caregiving assistance because it seems they should be able to cope. In reality, providing constant 24/7 care without a break takes a toll on one’s body, mind and spirit and can lead to health problems and a danger of burnout.
Accepting some caregiving help so you can have a break will actually allow you to better care for your loved one.
If you are currently caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you developing stress-related problems such as back pain, headaches, chronic feelings of fatigue, and/or depression?
- When was the last time you got a haircut? Took a shower?
- Are you missing work increasingly more often?
- Have you given up hobbies or activities that you have enjoyed for years?
- Are you coming down with colds, flu, and/or other illnesses more than usual?
- Do you have outbursts of anger at your loved one when he or she behaves erratically or becomes difficult?
- Do you experience more irritation and irrationality when responding to problems and people?
- Do you have an unshakable feeling of despair or pessimism?
- Are you crying “for no reason” or over minor problems?
- Do you complain about lack of sleep or chronic insomnia?
Why is it so important to take regular breaks from caregiving?
- Constant stress leads to health problems and irritability.
- Respite care allows for a more healthy family relationship and more personal satisfaction.
- Respite from ongoing care responsibilities ensures loved ones continue to receive the attention they deserve from a relaxed and loving care provider.
Contact Live Free Home Health Care and let us know more about your caregiving situation. We can schedule an in-home assessment to help determine care needs and make recommendations for the type and amount of care. We also have many helpful educational resources for caregivers and can put you in touch with community resources that help you take a break from caregiving responsibilities. You are not alone.