According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Surprisingly, 16.1 million Americans are providing unpaid care for these people, and in most cases, they are providing this care to their loved one or aging parent. It isn’t an easy job and there can be many unforeseen challenges that come with providing Alzheimer’s care.If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you are considering taking on a caregiver’s role, be sure to take these 7 caregiver challenges into consideration. Click To Tweet
Caregiver Challenges with Alzheimer’s Care
There is no doubt that being a caregiver is hard work. But when it comes to taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient, it can leave the caregiver feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by all they have to do. Here are seven caregiver challenges that come with Alzheimer’s care.
- Diminished Emotional Wellbeing
- Increased Risk of Illness
- Social Isolation
- Financial Challenges
- Time Management Issues
- Sleep Deprivation
- Feelings of Guilt
1) Diminished Emotional Wellbeing
Stress and diminished emotional well-being are common in dementia and Alzheimer caregivers than non-caregivers. Many experience feelings of depression and anxiety. If you encounter these negative emotions, please see a doctor or psychologist for treatment immediately
2) Increased Risk of Illness
Caregivers also tend to have an increased risk of physical illness, compared with non-caregivers. Caregivers are at an increased risk of arthritis, diabetes, lower immune function, slower wound healing, ulcers, and other physical afflictions.
3) Social Isolation
When you are caring for someone day in and day out, it is easy to let socializing to get put on the back burner. This can cause feelings of social isolation and lead to depression. Make sure to schedule time with friends and family so you can have a little break and get support from loved ones.
4) Financial Challenges
Unfortunately, the costs of dealing with Alzheimer’s can be exorbitant. With the constant diagnostic tests, doctor’s appointments, pharmaceuticals, and possible loss of earnings, the financial stresses can be very real.
5) Time Management Issues
Caregivers must spend so much time taking care of their patient that managing time can become difficult. Just getting to the grocery store can seem like a challenge.
ProTip: When caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, enlist the help of others so you can take time for yourself, and hopefully prevent getting burnt out.
6) Sleep Deprivation
Alzheimer’s caregivers can become sleep deprived because they are always on call. Try to maintain a good sleep schedule and take naps when possible to help prevent your lack of sleep from creating other health and concentration issues.
7) Feelings of Guilt
Caregivers often experience feelings of guilt when caring for their loved one suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s. You might feel you are not providing the best care, or you are afraid to ask for help because you think you can handle everything on your own. Feeling guilty is normal, but it shouldn’t stop you from seeking assistance, and it is certainly not a sign of weakness.
When It’s Time for a Senior Living Community
As you can see, there are many challenges family members face when they decide to take on the caregiver’s role. If you start neglecting your own health, or your loved one is declining and you feel overwhelmed with the amount of support they need, it might be a good idea to seek the help of a caregiver’s support group, or consider moving your loved one into a memory care community. These communities specialize in helping people living with Alzheimer’s have a good quality of life while remaining safe and well-taken care of.
Contact us to learn more information about the challenges family members face when providing Alzheimer’s care to their loved one.