Caregiving for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias has a unique set of challenges.
Sometimes Alzheimer’s is referred to as a “family disease” because the stress of caregiving and watching a person’s decline affects all family members.
Fatigue tends to occur because of the caregiver's reaction to the changes in behavior caused by dementia. Quite often the caregiver defaults to saying no or trying to correct the person's response. The problem is these situations tend to turn into an argument. It's not possible to control the behavior of the person with dementia, but it is possible to manage how to respond to an incident.
Dr. Matthew Malone, DO, FAPA, associate chief medical officer for the Good Samaritan Society, has insight into this issue.
Watch the video below.
One of the most important factors in avoiding caregiving fatigue is to always remember to take time to care for yourself. Taking an Alzheimer's caregiving training class or joining a support group can help ease stress. Spending time in prayer is important even if it must be scheduled.
It’s good to keep in mind that although caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s may bring difficult moments, there will be good days as well. There will still be humor, joy and friendship when it’s least expected.