Being a dementia caregiver in El Dorado County presents a series of daily struggles and joys. There is no set of instructions that’s going to fully prepare you for everything involved with caring for someone as they proceed through their journey. However, there are some “hidden” truths that can help you develop a healthy perspective.
1. Education Is Essential
While Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, there are many conditions that can affect cognitive functioning. Develop a thorough understanding of the type of dementia involved by asking questions to your loved one’s doctor and doing your own research.
2. Mood Swings Aren’t Personal
Dementia produces changes within the brain that can affect mood. Your loved one may be perfectly fine in the morning and disagreeable and contentious by dinner. Realize such behavior isn’t likely your fault and isn’t meant as anything personal against you.
3. Well-Meaning Advice Will Be Given
Friends and other family members may offer well-meaning advice with no basis behind it, especially if they’ve never acted as an in-home caregiver. Accept their input, but do what you feel is best based on what you know of your loved one and their condition.
4. Emotional Detachment Is Healthy
Maintain your mental health by taking time to detach yourself from the situation without guilt. You’re not going to do yourself or your loved one any favors by constantly going over what happened each day and over-analyzing situations.
5. Nobody Wants to Be Pitied
Feeling sorry for your loved one isn’t healthy or what they’d likely want. Instead, be empathetic and put yourself in their shoes. Use this as a guide for your daily interactions.
6. There’s No Shame in Asking for Help
Know your limits and when to ask for some assistance or arrange for respite care. You’re not going to be judged on whether or not you can do everything for your loved one all the time.
Being a dementia caregiver is no easy task, so don’t be afraid to reach out to Home Care Assistance if you could use help meeting your aging relative’s care needs. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly care El Dorado County families trust, providing comprehensive dementia care as well as respite care for caregivers who need a break. Call (916) 358-3801 today to schedule a free in-home consultation.