Jan 27, 2011

Caregiver support

"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong ... To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"Caregivers need to be supported in their decisions and do what is not only best for the person with the disease, but also what is best for them." Alzheimer's Caregiver's Newsletter, Mayo Clinic.

How true, but how do we find time to do what is best for us? One way is to have something the person with dementia can do independently (another way, of course, is to have someone care for the person so you can be gone, and I strongly advocate that too.). Kathy, a reader of this blog, pointed out that her husband can no longer watch movies, but she came up with a marvelous idea: a digital photo frame which has photos of the family and things they have done. A woman I met recently said her husband would not watch tv, could no longer read, and wanted her to entertain him all day. That would be exhausting, and she looked exhausted. We must find ways where we can have a life too. Adult day care, respite care, home health care. As dementia caregivers we must find ways to meet our own needs. If we are depleted and ill, that is not good for us and it is not good for the person for whom we provide care. We need to remember that far too many caregivers die before the person for whom they provided care. Who does that serve?

No comments:

Post a Comment