According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease and one in three seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia dies. Unfortunately, this makes it the 6th leading cause of death within the United States.
Caring for a loved one with memory loss is time-consuming, emotional and rewarding. In fact, many caregivers sacrifice their income, their jobs, time spent with family and friends and self-care to ensure their loved one is safe, happy and well. Caregiving is not an easy job. There are endless tasks to do, challenging behaviors to face and new experiences and changes each day. Often, caregivers get little to no support.
Dementia is a complex medical diagnosis that can affect each individual and their family differently. Because of this, being a caregiver to a loved one with dementia can be a lot to take on. Trying to figure out what is the best way to care for your loved one and aide them in this life transition can be extremely overwhelming, and almost impossible, if you don’t know what to expect.
Even for the most resourceful family caregivers, tending to the needs of a loved one with a chronic condition or memory loss is a lot to bear. The emotional, physical and financial burdens involved with caregiving make it easy for caregivers to experience burnout, stress and anxiety over their roles. Without knowing how to take care of yourself and acknowledge when you need support, caregiving can quickly have negative impacts on your life. “According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 83 percent of senior care in the US.
In sickness and in health… When we get married, these are words we all hear. We vow to be there for the one we love for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health. While ‘in sickness or in health’ may not hit too close to home at a young age, as couples get older this becomes a very possible reality, especially with the rise of health problems such as memory loss.
When a family unit is caring for their aging parent, they may act with the best intentions, but will likely find differences of opinion when it comes to what will most help their loved one. While working with siblings or close family members can be tricky, having strong communication skills, mutual respect, and an understanding that you’re all here for your parent will help you work together and make decisions about their care.
Dementia can cause anxiety. Anxiety can cause obsessive thoughts. Obsessive thoughts can cause anxiety. Anxiety can cause increased fear in people diagnosed with dementia. This can be a chicken-or-the-egg situation, but regardless of what comes first, obsessive thoughts can be cause for worry. Obsessive thoughts in seniors living with dementia can lead to specific and troubling behaviors.
It may not be as awkward as when they gave you the talk about the birds and the bees or your toddlerhood bathroom habits, but bringing up the need for cognitive impairment testing can be difficult for both you and your parent or other loved one.