When You Can No Longer Care for Your Love One

When You Can No Longer Care for Your Love One

As a dedicated son or daughter, husband or wife, you hope that you never need to put your loved one in a long-term care facility. You do all that you can to help your loved one live with Alzheimer’s disease. Protecting and caring for that individual is a part of your life everyday, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Even though you are devoted to your loved one and might even have promised that person that he or she never would have to live in a long term care community, the time might come when, in fact, it becomes necessary for your family member to move out of your home. You are likely to struggle and agonize over this decision. Even if you decide it is what is best for your loved one and for your entire family, you probably still will feel guilty.

When telling loved ones that you can no longer care for them on their own, they might become angry with you. They also might not understand, and become very sad or agitated. This is to be expected. But you must do what is best for everyone involved, even if the decision is emotional, and even if experience feelings of guilt.

Should that dreaded day come when you must move a loved one to a facility that cares for Alzheimer’s patients, keep in mind that you probably are doing what is best. There are many valid reasons for making this decision, even if it is the last thing you ever want to do.

There might be financial reasons as to why you no longer can care for your loved one. During the hours when you are away at work, you might need to pay for a private duty nurse or aide, which can become very expensive. The expenses related to your loved one’s everyday care also could become rather costly. If your loved one needs a high level of care, you likely are missing time from work. If this happens to often, you could be risking your job or losing out on pay that you cannot afford to lose.

When caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, you might be seeing a progression of the disease. If the disease becomes too bad, it might be overwhelming for you to continue providing care. You might not be able to provide all the safety and care that your loved one needs. In cases like this, it might be better for your family member to live in a safe community with caregivers who specialize in Alzheimer’s disease.

Spouses of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often have their own unique challenges. These individuals often are aging as well and sometimes can have declining health. It may be too difficult for you as a spouse to continue to care for your loved one. Continuing to care for a spouse with Alzheimer’s could put your own health at greater risk. Again, if you are not as strong or as well as you once were, you might not be able loved one.

Children who Have a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease impacts more people than the individual who is ill and his or her caretakers. Children in the family frequently have a difficult time when a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, it is important to help kids adjust to the changes they will see in the person they love, who often is a grandparent or great grandparent.

The children in your family might act out if you are spending a good deal of time with the Alzheimer’s patient. This is especially true if your family member has moved into your home. Young children may not understand that you must spend a lot of time giving care to the sick adult. In such cases, kids might feel neglected and maybe even forgotten at times.

It may help if you talk to your children before moving grandma or grandpa into the home with you. Explain that the grandparent is experiencing some health problems and needs lots of extra tender love and care.

Believe it or not, children will understand that the family member is ill. If they are old enough to have a better understanding of the disease, you can provide them with more information about Alzheimer’s. Share with your children how the disease might affect your loved one, as it progresses. Let them know that they likely will see changes in the personality of the grandparent or other family member.

Make certain that children understand how Alzheimer’s disease will affect the grandparent’s memory. Explain that Grandma or Grandpa might not remember who they are. It is essential that you explain this to your children in an attempt to ensure that their feelings are not hurt or that they are not frightened by the changes that might occur.

When a family member has Alzheimer’s disease, the children in the family often feel isolated from the person they love. Although they may be unable to help with the daily care of the family member with Alzheimer’s, children can help in other ways. By spending time with the Alzheimer’s sufferer, children can help that person to feel safer and more secure.

You should encourage your children to spend more time with the family member. You should all spend time together as a family as well. Just being together will help everyone to adjust better to the many changes, which are taking place in the home.

Parents can help children put their fears about Alzheimer’s disease at ease, although this can be especially challenging when dealing with young children. A younger child might become afraid that he or she might get Alzheimer’s one day or that you will. Kids sometimes think that all illnesses are contagious, and therefore, fear the unknown. This certainly is among the best reasons to educate your children about Alzheimer’s disease.

And it isn’t just the younger children in the family who might become confused. Parents should not assume that teenage children are able to handle the changes without help. Older children, too, might need further education about Alzheimer’s disease to improve their understanding of what is taking place in the mind of their loved one. Teenagers as well as younger children often feel as if they are not having enough time spent with them.

But again, you can encourage your teenagers to spend time with the family member with Alzheimer’s in order for them to feel more involved in helping with the care of the individual whom they love.

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is not always easy. In fact, it can be quite frustrating. It is difficult watching those whom you love struggle with the disease. There are times when you may feel as if you are taking on too much while receiving little appreciation in return. Still, there can be many personal rewards associated with caring for a loved one.

For those who have family members with Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to realize that your loved ones might not be able to show you their appreciation on a regular basis. Difficulty in communication and memory can make it next to impossible for some to express just how grateful they are for everything that you do for them.

Rewards may sometimes be small and few between. However, rewards might be as simple as a small smile from your loved one that lets you know he or she is thankful. There might even be the rare day when the person is able to thank you in words. These are the days when you know you are giving a great gift of yourself to someone whom you love.

Oftentimes, adult children find themselves caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. Your parents likely have been there for you when you needed help. As a child, they took care of you when you were sick. They protected you and worked hard to keep you safe. Life has now come round full circle, as you have the opportunity to do the same for your parent with Alzheimer’s disease. It can be rewarding knowing that you are able to help someone who has done so much to help you throughout the years.

The rewards of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease usually are not tangible, but they are valuable nonetheless. Knowing that you are providing a better quality of life for your family member should be rewarding in itself. People do not want to feel forgotten when they become ill. Most individuals hope not to find themselves living in a long-term care facility. Therefore, you should feel good about yourself knowing that the hard work and dedication you are providing to your loved one will allow that person to remain at home. Although your loved one might not always be able to show his or her appreciation, rest assured that you are appreciated.

Perhaps you have children of your own. It might not be easy for them if you are helping to care for a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Yet it can be rewarding knowing that you are setting a good example for your children. You are showing them the importance of sticking together as a family even when things are difficult. You are helping your children to become better and stronger people as result.

Kids, too, can feel rewarded as they help with Grandma or Grandpa. Even very young children can do little things to help. Sometimes it might be as simple as keeping a grandparent company. Children often want to help out and be a part of what is happening around them. Your children will have ample opportunity to do so if you are caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease.

Living with or caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease never is easy. It is common for the caregiver to feel as if he or she is not doing enough. It can be frustrating when a loved one doesn’t recognize who you are or seem to understand all that you are doing to help. But caring for your loved one can be rewarding because you know in your heart that you are making a difference in the life of someone whom you love.

Finding a Caregiver for an Alzheimers Patient

There are a variety of options for Alzheimer’s patients who need caregivers. Sadly, there are those individuals with Alzheimer’s who must live in long-term care facilities because there are not enough family members to care for their needs. Another factor influencing whether or not an individual must go to a nursing home includes finances. Some families are not able to afford to pay for in-home care services.

Fortunately, many people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease are able to remain at home or in the home of a family member for some time. Many families do all they can to avoid seeing their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease living in a nursing home. Some individuals and their family members are able to afford to pay for home health services. In such cases, private duty nurses and home health aides are able to work with patients in their homes.

However, selecting a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is not always an easy task. It is important to review carefully a person’s qualifications as well as his or her experience working with the elderly, particularly those with dementia. It is ideal to find a nurse or personal care aide who has in depth skills and knowledge when working with Alzheimer’s patients.

If you are unable to find a home health aide or nurse who has been well trained to work with a person who is suffering from dementia, it is important to find an individual who is experienced working with the elderly. Be sure to review credentials and references before hiring anyone to work with your loved one.

You can talk with your loved one’s physician when seeking guidance and advice on selecting a caregiver. It also is a good idea to talk to the local Area Agency on Aging for more advice. There are many resources out there to help you locate, interview and hire a caregiver for your family member. The decision as to whom you should hire is not one that should be entered into lightly.

Many times family members become the primary caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. This often is true for adults who have a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. There are cases in which a spouse is in good health and able to care for a husband or wife without additional help, sometimes for an extended period of time. The adult children of a parent with Alzheimer’s disease frequently need to invite their parent to move into their homes with them.

These moves involve adjustments for everyone. You can make the transition as easy as possible by doing all that you can to ensure that your loved one is able to maintain his or her dignity and as much independence as can be safely given. These changes will not be easy for the spouses and children of the adult son or daughter who is taking care of an ill parent. Talk with your family to make plans to work as a team for the best interests of the person with Alzheimer’s as well as for the entire family.

Do not take on all the responsibilities yourself. If you have siblings, do not be afraid to ask for their help. Your parent might live with you full time but this does not mean that your sisters or brothers cannot help. They might be able to spend some time with your parent in the evenings or on the weekend. Tell your family upfront that you will need some help and explain that you cannot do everything on your own.

Finding a caregiver can be challenging, but is not impossible. Taking the time to make plans and to find the best solutions for the entire family will make the process much easier.

Alzheimers Caregivers

No one said it was going to be easy. Yet, you likely did not expect it to be quite this difficult. Caregivers often focus so much of their time and energies taking care of the family member with Alzheimer’s that they forget they must continue to take care of themselves, too.

It does not take long before you begin to feel overwhelmed by all the additional responsibilities, which you have taken on. Alzheimer’s does not affect only the person with the disease, but the disease takes its toll on the entire family. Not only are there multiple physical and emotional demands on the caregiver and his or her own family, eventually, as the disease progresses, the financial costs related to the disease begin to add even more pressures.

Most primary caregivers to Alzheimer’s patients suffer from a considerable lack of sleep. However, research shows that lack of adequate sleep can be a major cause of stress and a number of common health ailments. Caring for someone other than you requires energy. If you don’t sleep, you are not restoring that energy, which you need so desperately. And like a car battery drained of its energy supply, you won’t have any spark either. It may not be long before you find yourself feeling not only exhausted, but angry and frustrated as well. That will not help you, your loved one with Alzheimer’s or your own spouse and children.

Second to getting sufficient rest and eating a well-balanced diet to stay healthy, don’t be afraid to cry. There are a lot of additional demands on you these days, enough to make anyone feel more than a bit irritable at times. However, it is important to remain positive for everyone’s well-being. But in order to do so, you may have to set limits, and say ‘no’ sometimes.

The trick is not to allow yourself to feel guilty. Caregivers often become so wrapped up in their responsibilities; they begin to withdraw from family, friends, and social activities. This is one of the worst things that you can do for yourself or your loved one. Now, more than ever, you need the comfort and support offered by others to help keep you going, as the going gets tougher. And it will!

However, you can survive it all by accepting that one day you will lose your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. But don’t focus on your family member’s decline. Instead, make the most of the moments, which you share now. Give that person the best of what you can give while you still have him/her.

Don’t have any regrets. Keep things in perspective and know that you loved your family member and provided that person with the support and safety he or she needed at the time. Take a few moments by yourself when things get really rough and cry if you have to. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Crying can be a great tension reliever.

Most important, know that you are not alone. Reports show that at least 20% of caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients are family members, whether we are spouses, children, or in some cases, even grandchildren. In the meantime, both caregiver and Alzheimer’s sufferer must try to remain as physically, emotionally, and socially active as possible throughout the course of the disease.

Learning About Alzheimer’s

Finding out that a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating. By learning more about the disease affecting your family member or friend, you can be better prepared to help. Fortunately, there are many resources that can aid you in your search for information.

An organization offering a good deal of research and information is the Alzheimer’s Association. The association is dedicated to helping people with Alzheimer’s, as well as their family members. The Alzheimer’s Association offers local chapters where individuals can find needed support. A 24-hour help line is provided. To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www.alz.org.

The website offers a diversity of resources for anyone who wants to learn more about this disease. There are a variety of other websites offering information about symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and how to speak with your loved one’s doctor if you suspect that he or she might be suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Many websites even provide information on how to care for your loved one if he or she suffers from Alzheimer’s.

The local library is another place where people can go to learn more about how to care for a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Most libraries have a collection of books discussing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Health magazines and professional journals are other excellent sources available at almost any local library or college library.

One of the best resources for learning about Alzheimer’s is your loved one’s own physician. The physician will be able to discuss with you the affects of Alzheimer’s disease. A number of health care professionals involved in your loved one’s care will help you to learn what you can expect to experience in regard to your family member’s illness. They will help you to learn what steps you must take in order to care properly for your loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Physicians also can aid you in deciding what living arrangements are best for your family member. If the individual is going to be cared for in a home setting, doctors can tell you what you need to do to help ensure the safety of the Alzheimer’s patient. They can help you to decide in advance what factors could impact your decision to enter your loved one into an assisted living facility. Regrettably, the day might come when you and your family are no longer able to safely care for the person with Alzheimer’s disease at home.

The doctor treating the Alzheimer’s patient often will put you in contact with organizations that can help. You can obtain information from the hospital on how to locate home health nurses and aides to assist with daily activities of living. Social workers at area hospitals can be of further assistance. They generally are able to put you into contact with many human services and community agencies and programs that can help. For example, a social worker may suggest contacting a local Meals on Wheels program so that you can ensure a healthy and safe meal for your loved one. The important thing is not to be afraid to ask for help. It helps to know that there really is help available to you and your family member.

Could It Be A Form Of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Mature seniors face many possible health concerns. One of the most difficult diseases for an individual and their family to face is Alzheimer’s Disease. Although there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease early detection is important to the way in which an individual and their loved one’s handles the disease. If it is discovered that a person has Alzheimer’s Disease early on, treatment can often help to slow down the progression of the disease.

The sooner a family knows that a loved one has Alzheimer’s, the sooner they can learn about this disease and make plans on how to care for their family member. By knowing, what they are facing, family member are better able to make long-term plans for their loved ones. The time might come when a family member is no longer able to stay at home or even in the home of a family member. Family members should read up on Alzheimer’s and talk to their parent or family member’s physician to learn all that they can. In fact, there is a great deal to learn about Alzheimer’s Disease and much to still be discovered.

Family members and friends must be aware of some of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease, as those they love begin to age. Everyone can be a little forgetful at time, and this often becomes even more noticeable as people become older. There are, however, some signs to watch for that could indicate a problem. When family members begin to notice these signs in a loved one, it is time to make an appointment with the individual’s doctor. Even if a person does not have Alzheimer’s, making an appointment is important since a variety of ailments can cause dementia or dementia type symptoms.

The problem with many of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease is that many of the symptoms could be considered normal in their most basic form. For example, not knowing where a person put his or her keys is not unusual. Finding them on the nightstand by the bed is probably not cause for alarm. On the other hand, if a person cannot find the book they have been reading and later finds it laying in the refrigerator this may very well be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Constant forgetfulness and severe problems with short-term memory typically are among the first signs of Alzheimer’s. Forgetting an item or two on a grocery list is not generally a sign of a problem. But if a person forgets his or her own address or how to drive back home, that is a problem. People with Alzheimer’s often begin to show signs that they are having trouble with the most common of tasks. They might not “remember” how to put their clothes on in the morning. Any of these symptoms should be taken very seriously.

Another sign that something might be amiss is when the personality of a loved one seems to change and change with little warning. A usually kind and friendly person might seem more abrasive or even begin to act anything other than nice. Complete changes in a person’s personality or a constant shift in mood or behavior could very well be an indicator that some dementia is taking place. Everyone has mood changes at times, but if this begins to happen all the time and the emotions are covering a wide pendulum, there likely is a problem.

Beware of potential signs of Alzheimer’s disease in your loved ones. Although you might not be able to prevent Alzheimer’s and there is no cure, early detection can go a long way in helping both you and your loved one to cope with the disease.

Taking Care of Yourself

Imagine the pain of watching someone you love lose his or her short-term memory. Seeing someone who was once vibrant and active now having trouble completing the simplest of tasks is difficult for anyone. People who have loved ones and family members with Alzheimer’s must be sure to take good care of themselves. Alzheimer’s also takes its toll on the caregivers and loved ones of those who are suffering from the disease.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s requires time and energy. It can be both physically and emotionally draining. Of course, those who have a family member with Alzheimer’s generally do all they can to help the person they love. Taking care of that person is not a burden, but it does take a toll on the caregivers. It is not easy to see someone you love suffering. Individuals often feel helpless as they see the memories and cognitive abilities of the Alzheimer’s patient begin to decline.

In order to be able to make the best decisions and to provide the best care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it is essential for family member to take good care of their own health and well being. Family members must share in the responsibilities. If a parent has Alzheimer’s for example, all children must do what they can to care for their parents. When the duties are left primarily to one person, that individual can quickly get burned out.

It is important for the caregivers to know that it is okay to ask for and accept help when family members are afflicted with Alzheimer’s. There are times when the responsibility becomes too much for one or even a couple family members to handle on their own. Everyone is usually balancing the care of their loved one along with their own jobs and families. Hiring a home health aid to come in a few times a week is one helpful solution. Looking into adult day care a few times a week is another possibility. There are ways that family members can receive help without needing to consider a long-term care community.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s easily takes an emotional toll on a person. Caregivers struggle with the responsibility of caring for their family member along with the sadness of seeing their loved one in poor health. It is never easy for a son or daughter to realize that a parent does not always recognize his or her own child. Individuals are saddened to see a loved one struggle to remember how to complete everyday tasks. Those who have a family member with Alzheimer’s should consider joining a support group. This can help individuals to share their experiences, feelings and fears with others who understand what it is like to have a family member with Alzheimer’s.

Those who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s definitely must take some time for themselves. They need to schedule time each day and each week when they can relax and take a break. People often feel guilty about the time they spend away from their loved one (other than the times they are with their family or at work). However, this time for one’s self is important. Taking care of one’s own health and wellness is essential so that the person can stay in good health in order to take care of oneself, family members, and a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Dementia and Depression

Sometimes as individuals grow older and enter their retirement years, they begin to feel depressed. The depression can result from declining health, loss of a spouse or other loved one, no longer being able to work and a variety of other factors facing senior citizens. Various forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease also affect some individuals. In the early stages, it sometimes can be difficult to differentiate dementia from depression.

Depression often results in memory problems in older individuals. They might seem as if they are being forgetful, when in fact, they are distracted by their feelings of depression. If a person is exhibiting mild to moderate changes in his or her personality or slight mood swings, they may be suffering from depression. The problem lies in the fact that these symptoms also could indicate dementia.

If your loved one has been having memory problems for an extended period of time, you should consult with a physician. The same is true if an individual is acting out of character or having wide mood swings for more than a few days. These could by signs of depression or dementia. It is best to consult with a physician so that he or she can evaluate your loved one for depression or other illnesses. Hopefully, the doctor will find that your loved one is healthy. In fact, sometimes a simple imbalance in a person’s diet can be causing these problems and can be treated effectively.

You also might learn that a loved one is suffering from dementia or depression. Both are serious conditions. It is important to learn all that you can from your family member’s diet. They can instruct you on how to care for your loved one and what steps you can take to help him or her with depression or dementia. Depression often responds well to medication. This also is true for older individuals with depression.

Dementia has its own treatments and set of challenges. If your family member has a form of dementia, the way you handle his or her condition will differ depending on the cause. It is important to work closely with your loved one’s physician. You also should read and do your own research to learn ore about the cause of your family member’s dementia. If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, you can find a variety of resources and support groups.

When you have a loved one who suffers from dementia, it also is important to watch for signs of depression. As a person begins to become forgetful or to have memory problems, he or she often feels a bit helpless which can lead to depression. Although dementia can cause a person to be withdrawn, to act differently or to have mood swings, you still need to be aware of the possibility of depression. If you notice any new symptoms or significant changes, you should talk to your family member’s physician to find out if an evaluation for depression is necessary.

Alzheimer’s and Safety

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often need help to create a safer living environment. There are many potential dangers of which caretakers should be aware. When a person has Alzheimer’s disease they can become forgetful or confused and therefore need a little extra help to stay healthy and well.

If you are taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you should help to keep the house tidy and in good order. You do not want too many things left sitting out on the floor. Your family member has the risk of falling. They might not always be as aware of items lying on the floor when they walk around the house.

Unfortunately, people with more advanced Alzheimer’s often start to forget how to use everyday household items. Some of these items can be dangerous and should therefore be kept out of reach of the individual. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s disease might forget how to use a knife. They might no longer be aware of the dangers of using a knife improperly.

A common danger for people with Alzheimer’s is the kitchen stove. An individual with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can become confused when cooking. For instance, he or she might turn the oven up too high. Sometimes people will forget how to cook the meal they are trying to prepare. They might even forget to turn off the stove. You might want to make sure that meals are prepared for any friend’s or family members with Alzheimer’s. If a person is trying to cook on his or her own and not handling the task well, caregivers will need to keep a watchful eye to ensure the person is not using the stove.

People with Alzheimer’s might also reach a point when they need help taking their medications. You can help to make certain that he or she is taking all his or her medicine. Although someone with Alzheimer’s might set out to take the medication as prescribed, he or she might sometimes forget to take his or her medicine or become confused as to the dosages and times to take the medicines. When your loved one reaches this point, it is time to set up a schedule to ensure that someone helps to distribute their medicine throughout the day.

If you have a family member who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, time might come when you need to keep any potentially hazardous household items in locked cabinets. You can purchase cabinet locks for this purpose. This will help you to make certain your loved one does not accidentally ingest a hazardous household item.

When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, it is important to help them maintain as much independence as possible. Some of the above steps might not be necessary until the disease progresses. You always want to provide your family member with as much love and support as possible. It is also necessary to watch out for signs of dangers in order to take the measures to keep your loved one safe.