It’s not easy caring for a loved one suffering from a degenerative disorder such as Alzheimer’s or dementia – and if you’re not a trained professional or have no experience, providing that level of care can be all consuming for you. The work is physically exhausting, their memory loss and change in personality can be emotionally devastating, and a negative reaction from you can only make things worse.
On top of all that, you may not even notice the mental and physical deterioration of your loved one until someone else points it out to you … or until something catastrophic happens, like a fall or severe illness. But fortunately, thanks to the advent of technology and new developments in health care, you have a wealth of modern resources at your fingertips.
Of course, every situation is different, but by following these two tips outlined in a recent article at U.S. News & World Report, you can make it much easier for both yourself and your loved one:
- First: Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the disease or disorder that’s affecting them. Information can be found at your physician’s office, through other care managers or even via WebMD. Ask questions and don’t stop asking them until you’re satisfied with the answers.
- Second: Be empathetic. Take care of your loved on the same way you would want to be cared for. Alzheimer’s and dementia patients often have no control over their own actions, and getting angry or letting your stress and frustration get to you can intensify a bad episode.
And if you’re having difficulty, look for help – it’s always closer than you think it is. You may feel isolated, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are resources everywhere, and many of them are designed for your specific situation. And when all else fails, you can always call Carol Health.
Carol is an on-call service that sends a nurse directly to your home to provide a helping hand. A Carol nurse can be just the thing to help you gain some perspective on your loved one’s care. Our nurses are specially trained to educate you about current options as well as performing health assessments right in your own home. And that second set of eyes – and hands – can help you find that you’re on the right track after all.