Being a caregiver is trying… just when you think you have everything worked out, your loved one has a change in status that turns the world upside down again. Maybe they had a stroke, or are not getting along with another patient in the facility, or they just need more assistance than they used to. The prospect of having to make all those changes, constantly, can be overwhelming!
I’m here to help you not to lose heart, even though there are some disturbing truths about dementia. The very reason this disease is referred to as a “journey” is because it continues to change. Your loved one’s brain is degenerating, and she is only going to get worse – not better. Often, both the blessing and the curse is that the disease progresses slowly. Unfortunately, one can’t put out a sign that says “Already have one illness, can’t get another – sorry, my scorecard is full!” There will be changes in this process and there is little choice except to forge ahead, but with assistance.
The 5th Absolute for Caregiver Decision Making is: Never Stop, Instead Progress. Your role as caregiver is one of the most difficult you will face in this life, and there will be times when you feel like you just can’t take any more. Before you get to this point, you must request and accept assistance – and there are many ways to find it.
Ask for assistance from the people at your loved one’s senior citizen complex – they will provide you with resources for your next steps. When you are feeling overwhelmed and trying to figure everything out on your own, it is sometimes difficult to admit you may not know the best path to take, or even what questions to ask. Make a copy of this and hand it to the person at the senior center, amd they will provide resources in your community – they do it every day, they care, and they want what’s best for you and your loved one.
Until next time,…