There are various levels of caregiving. Some caregivers give of their time a few hours a day or a few hours a week. Others help with financial needs or lend their time by becoming companions who talk, watch television and read to their loved one. Caregivers are special in all forms. It means so much to those living with the disease to receive this attention and a glimmer of light shines in their eyes when they sense heartfelt affection.
Then there are those who are left to do all of the caregiving with very little help from family or friends. This is the most difficult of all caregiving burdens. These caregivers may bear constant feelings of hopelessness, making it extremely difficult to display bouts of strength. Presenting one’s fear will only create fear in those around you and your loved one needs to be in a calm, safe and peaceful environment.
Caregivers are constantly concerned about having someone’s life in their hands, especially when experiencing the day-to-day behavioral changes of taking their loved one further and further away. Most caregivers are heartbroken to live a life like this while feeling helpless as they watch the effects of Alzheimer’s.
If you know someone who is a caregiver, please consider the physical and emotional struggle they are dealing with. It is not easy and they may be suffering in silence. Remember, your kind words of concern during this time may be a gift to them – at least, they were for me when I was caring for my mother for eight years who passed in 2011 from Alzheimer’s disease. Know that there is hope and help through every stage of this critical disease.
For more information, visit alz.org or call 1-800-272-3900.