Today there are thousands of family members who look after the loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s or Dementia. In most of these cases, the family caregiver provides round the clock care without any break. For the affected individual, staying at home to receive this type of care has many rewards including being in the safety of one’s home, independence and connection to the family. The flip side is that it takes a toll on the person who looks after a person with Alzheimer disease.
The family caregiver has to do almost everything 24/7 and this can often lead to extreme fatigue, burnout, depression and leaves very little time for themselves. Family caregivers do understand their role as caregivers but often do not realize that they need to take time off. Studies show that more than 2/3rd of caregivers report poor heath or develop one or more chronic condition or disability over time.
Signs of caregiver burnout include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Anger, irritability
- Sense of hopelessness
- Constant anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased resistance to infections
- Loss of weight
So what options do these caregivers have?
- The first option is to ask friends or family members to help out for a short time or just the weekend. Unfortunately, in many cases other people are often busy and have their own family commitments.
- Getting a paid caregiver is another option. These caregivers can provide scheduled breaks at anytime and care giving including to those bed-ridden at the end of life.
- There are several senior homes that offer 24/7 short-term care beds, this helps the family caregiver catch a break and recover. This is often referred to as respite care.
Benefits of in-home respite care include
- It provides the main caregiver time to rest, purse his or her activities, attend family functions and avoid becoming isolated. This also helps to decrease the negative consequences of stress such as depression, family conflicts, and poor health.
- Offers the family member who is cared for an opportunity to socialize with others and help lessens the feeling of being helpless or being a burden on the family.
- With the help of a paid caregiver, the family member can better look after him or herself.
Too often primary caregivers put themselves at the bottom of life’s list, hesitating to take even a short break, which can lead to anxiety, fatigue and “burn out.” No one performs their best when working under the effects of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. We provide interventions that benefit the whole circle of care, keeping supports positive and caring.
Our fully trained staff will be extra hands at home, giving you time for the self-care that you so badly need. So…..go shopping, get a haircut, or enjoy a round of golf: small activities go a long way toward alleviating stress and building new energy.