Why Alzheimer’s Caregivers Say They Need to Go It Alone – And Why It’s a Bad Idea

Why Alzheimer’s Caregivers Say They Need to Go It Alone – And Why It’s a Bad Idea

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

A woman who is one of many Alzheimer’s caregivers who care for a loved one alone hugs her aging father.

Alzheimer’s caregivers may feel as though they are the only ones who can provide the best care for an older loved one, but finding a care partner is vitally important.

As a family member caring for a loved one with dementia, you know firsthand how challenging it can be. It’s definitely never a role that Alzheimer’s caregivers should try to fill on their own. Yet, many caregivers struggle with seeking the support they need, intensifying stress and leaving minimal room for self-care, a vital aspect for those in caregiving roles.

See if you can relate to these top reasons given by family caregivers for attempting to provide care solo, and why they need to be reconsidered:

  1. Dad would not want another person taking care of him. A lot of us would resist if we were told that someone was coming over to bathe us. But having someone come and assist with housework and meals is a perfect approach to introduce a new caregiver, working your way up to additional necessary services after the caregiver is known and accepted. The phrasing you use tends to make all the difference as well. Having a “salon day” sounds much more inviting, for example.
  2. I am doing just fine on my own; I do not need a break. To put it simply, science disagrees! A research study shared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry revealed that a specific stress hormone was depleted in caregivers whose stress was chronic and prolonged – such as in providing Alzheimer’s care independently – while those who engaged just two days each week of respite achieved an increase in the hormone in addition to a brighter outlook and elevated mood.
  3. It is too complicated to try and find a caregiver I’m able to trust. At Hired Hands Homecare, we background check and professionally train every one of our caregivers, verifying key character traits such as flexibility, reliability, kindness, and more. Hired Hands Homecare is bonded and insured, for your further peace of mind. We also meticulously match each older adult with the ideal caregiver who will be most compatible. Lastly, if a person’s primary caregiver is on vacation or ill, we will provide an equally qualified replacement caregiver.
  4. No one else could take care of Dad like I do. While you are certainly not replaceable, the aim of enlisting help is not replacement, but respite. An older loved one with Alzheimer’s will benefit from the socialization provided by someone besides yourself, while you gain the advantage of a much-needed break – ultimately allowing you to provide better care to the person when you return.

If you would like to explore in-home respite care for someone you love with Alzheimer’s, get in touch with Hired Hands Homecare. Our comprehensively trained, experienced, creative, and compassionate Alzheimer’s caregivers are available to help you reduce stress, improve life for the person you love, and provide you with the opportunity for self-care. Call us at (866) 940-4343 to set up a free in-home assessment to learn more about our home care services in Novato, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, and the surrounding areas.

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