Imagine how it would feel to awaken in a strange place, not being able to remember how you got there or even what your name is. Complete disorientation quickly develops into anger and fear, and you may discover yourself yelling at the unknown person positioned beside your bed, speaking to you in a soft voice.
A scenario like this paints a frightening and unfortunately accurate picture of a person with dementia’s reality. Now imagine standing in front of a person you love, and having that person view you with no recognition whatsoever. Every day your heart breaks a bit more, but you push through the pain and go on with the necessary dementia care tasks for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on a recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association, a whopping 15.3 billion hours of unpaid care were supplied by over 11 million American family caregivers in 2020 to those with Alzheimer’s. With the continual emotional strain that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can cause, it is no doubt one of the most stressful forms of care provision. Family caregivers have a number of issues that contribute to their amount of stress, such as difficulty with “letting go” of the person impacted by Alzheimer’s; feeling guilty when considering nursing home placement; or fear of seeming vulnerable and inadequate if outside assistance is required.
Without a doubt, these statistics show a tremendous need for chronic and long-term caregiver respite care. Not only that, but respite is needed more than once or twice a year to be truly beneficial. Family caregivers need to understand that support is not only helpful but essential, and they need to relax and engage in a life of their own. Devoting a life exclusively to caring for another person can in fact cause great harm to both people’s lives. Caregivers who permit themselves ongoing respite feel restored and better able to provide the best care. And those who do not are vulnerable to caregiver burnout.
Bring in some caregiving reinforcements if you notice the signs of burnout, including:
- Elevated stress and tension
- Debilitating depression
- Relentless anxiety, guilt, or anger
- Diminished overall life satisfaction
- Relationship disputes and social isolation
- Lower immunity and increased need for health care services
- Excessive use of medications, drugs or alcohol
If any of these red flags resonates with you, contact Hillendale Home Care, award-winning providers of Pleasant Hill in-home care for seniors with dementia or any other challenges, at 925-933-8181. We can provide helpful dementia care tips as well as a free in-home consultation to create a personalized dementia support care plan for your loved one, allowing you a much-needed opportunity to rest and recharge. Caring, experienced help is just a phone call away. See our Service Area page for all of the areas we serve in California.