Caring for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease: The Caregiver’s Role

Caring for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease: The Caregiver’s Role

As your loved one progresses deeper into Alzheimer’s disease, it will be increasingly difficult to care for him or her. This is not only because his or her condition will progress, it is also because caring for someone on a long-term basis can be emotionally and physically draining.Caring for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease: The Caregiver’s Role

The Caregiver’s Role is Stressful

At times, caring for your loved one will be very stressful because you have to deal with the following on a regular basis:

 

  • The emotional strain of watching a loved one lose precious memories and gradually decline
  • The physical strain associated with moving, adjusting, or restraining your loved one
  • Nearly constant unpredictability and an overall lack of control
  • Secondary stress from other relationships and employment (or lack of)

As a caregiver, you are called upon to exhibit high levels of patience, diligence, perseverance, and vigilance. You will be constantly learning about the disease, how to best care for your loved one, and the ins and outs of the healthcare system. You will also become very familiar with your loved one’s medical history, financial affairs, and other intimate details of their life that you may not have known before.

The Caregiver’s Role is Expensive

Whether you choose to hire a live-in nurse, place your loved one in a care facility, or have your loved one move in with you, each option has its own expenses. While it may seem like hiring a live-in nurse or a care facility is much more expensive at first glance, keep in mind that if your loved one moves in with you, then that also means that you may need to reduce or eliminate your current employment.

 

Caregivers often provide financial support for their loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. That means that housing, clothing, and food, are all now the caregiver’s responsibility. Of course, there are also the other expenses associated with the disease, like medical costs, to consider as well. In Florida, those caring for Alzheimer’s patients may be able to utilize Medicaid money to help pay for the costs associated with this care. Find out more about that program here.

 

The Palm Beach Neurological Center offers a support group for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers. For more information, contact us by calling 888-369-1010.

 

Sources:

Schulz, R., & Sherwood, P. R. Physical and Mental Health Effects of Family Caregiving. Am. J. Nurs. 2008; Sep. 108(9 Suppl): 23-27. doi. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000336406.45248.4c.

 

Haley, W.E. The Family Caregiver’s Role in Alzheimer’s Disease. Neurology. 1997 May;48(5 Suppl 6): S25-9.

About the Author:Dr. Michael Tuchman