Questions that keep Caregivers up at night?
You know you’re a caregiver when… you begin to put someone before you. Caregiving is providing companionship, support, and planning for the future.
The Caregiver… How are you? I feel confused and irritated. I feel as if my life is not mine anymore. I am now responsible for two bodies, minds, and actions but I am just one person.
Caregivers are overwhelmed with responsibilities. Consistently exhausted mentally and physically. They fear dying first. Many don’t even have the time to go to their own doctor’s appointments. Most challenging and draining is when a caregiver is taking care of a loved one as well as their young children.
What bothers you most about being a caregiver? Trying to balance my personal life with my additional responsibilities. I feel guilty of not being able to do more.
Caregivers on AgingCare.com share topics like “it lacks freedom, allows no breaks in life, and is overwhelming”. Caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s continuously express dislike for the constant repetition. They feel like they are listening to a broken record. Caregivers share the frustration of having the heat on in the middle of the summer or waking up in the middle of the night when their loved one starts wandering. They are distraught when their loved one becomes combative or even sexually promiscuous. Depending on the age or severity or type of Dementia, every caregiver’s experience is different. However, the theme is the same, inability to control another person’s behavior.
What can you do now:
Finding a new balance is the first step. “Often a caregiver finds themselves in this role with a lack of training, support, or compensation,” says Lawrence University researchers. Caregivers need to realize it takes a team’s effort and accountability to make this work. Get support from family members, friends, coworkers, anyone who will help. If you feel alone, join a support group, in person or online. In New Jersey, each County has a Division on aging and senior services, call one of the social workers for support and guidance. Caregivers do not have to be alone and there are support services, groups, and meetings.
Next, it is training. Start with your loved one’s doctor; a geriatrician is ideal. Bring a list of questions to the appointment! Understanding the medical portion is just the first step. There is a much larger picture: setting up your house, types of care, signs of decline, preventative measures. You may want to consult with a geriatric care manager for an overview. They can also discuss with you the types of care available.
Why is an Adult Day Care (ADC) so important?
Day Care can relieve you of stress, uncertainty, and being overwhelmed. Relieving your stress and giving back your independence, even if it is just for a few hours a day. Adult Day Cares are generally open Monday-Friday from 9AM-5PM. Here at Legacy Care Club we are open Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM and Saturday from 9AM-2PM.
Building a partnership with an Adult Day Care can help you balance these new responsibilities and conflicts. Trusting a facility to have compassion is scary but, incorporating a center in your life may help you and your loved one more than you’d think. Adult daycare centers go past being that break for you as your loved one is safely monitored. It can be a sanctuary for caregivers too. In addition, Legacy Care Club hosts a monthly support group meeting the first Wednesday of each month.