The emotional implications of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s

With the rising financial cost of private frail care facilities, more and more families have opted to care for aging frail relatives at home.  However, becoming the family caregiver of a parent or relative with Alzheimer’s carries an even higher cost on an emotional and physical level.

Watching a parent fade away physically is hard enough, but seeing the changes in personality and loss of memory is simply devastating to the family.

Helplessness is one of the most common emotions shared by families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s because they know that the decline is inevitable, whether it happens over a long period of time or takes hold quickly.

Once it has been confirmed that Alzheimer’s is setting in, families are faced with the reality that their beloved aging parent will be facing their final years dealing with:

·       Memory loss

·       Confused thought processes

·       Lack of judgement

·       An inability to problem-solve

·       Personality change

Other challenges facing the family, parent or relative include an escalation from mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s, to the final stages of severe dementia.

Dementia has a profound impact on intellectual and social abilities, so much so that even the most basic daily functions are curtailed.  There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the level of dementia, but, without a doubt, it’s a devastating experience to watch a loved one reach a point where they are unable to care for themselves properly.

There is also very little doubt that dementia caregivers have it a lot rougher than those taking care of a mentally healthy elder in the family. 

Watching the decline of a loved one with dementia is overwhelmingly stressful, which is why it’s important to know as much as possible about Alzheimer’s and dementia going in, so that family caregivers are given a fighting chance of rising above the emotional personal cost.

Physical and mental exhaustion, piled on top of tremendous stress can begin a downward spiral into depression for an unsupported family caregiver looking after a parent or relative with Alzheimer’s.

Without outside help from other family members, or respite from professional caregivers, Alzheimer’s will claim the lives of more than just an elderly parent on an emotional and physical level!

For those who are sole caregivers to a parent with Alzheimer’s, without the support of family or friends, life becomes a battle field of trying to juggle bringing in an income and at the same time experiencing high levels of stress as the caregiver worries about the parent being left alone during working hours.

In cases like this it’s essential to find community support. Community support can alleviate the stress of leaving an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s alone during working hours, and can also be of immense value in terms of offering emotional and psychological support to the caregiver.

If you know someone who is caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimers, offer help where you can, because you can be sure that they are battling with major physical, mental and emotional stress on a daily basis.

The ultimate answer to Alzheimer’s care in Cape Town is to contact CareChamp.  This dedicated team of professionals will tailor an affordable solution that will bring the physical, mental and emotional stress down to a bearable level, allowing the family caregiver the opportunity to be the best version of themselves during one of the most difficult experiences life can present.

Contact CareChamp today to find out more about what they can offer in terms of Alzheimer’s care, disabled care and companionship.