“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford
We all know that no one person is an island, something that especially rings true for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Nevertheless many family caregivers falter with regards to accepting or asking for the help they need. Because of this, stress is exacerbated, as there is little if any time for self-care – an important feature for anybody in a caregiving role.
Why are we often so resolved to address such an extraordinary undertaking independently? Here are a number of common reasons and why we should rethink them:
- No one else could care for Mom like I will. While you are most certainly not replaceable, the purpose of enlisting help is not replacement, but respite. An older adult with Alzheimer's can benefit from the socialization provided by someone aside from yourself, while you gain the benefit of a much-needed break – ultimately allowing you to provide better care to the senior when you return.
- It is too difficult to try and find a caregiver I'm able to trust. At Amy’s Helping Hands, we background check and professionally train every one of our caregivers, verifying key character traits such as flexibility, reliability, kindness, and much more. Amy’s Helping Hands will also meticulously match each older adult with the ideal caregiver who will be most compatible. Additionally, if an older adult's primary caregiver is on vacation or ill, we will provide an equally qualified replacement caregiver.
- I am doing just fine on my own; I don’t need a break. Simply put, science disagrees! A research study shared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that a certain stress hormone was depleted in caregivers whose stress was prolonged and chronic – such as in providing dementia care independently – while those who engaged just two days per week of respite realized an increase in the hormone in addition to an elevated mood and a brighter outlook.
- Mom would never want someone else taking care of her. Most of us would balk if we were told that someone was coming over to give us a bath. But having someone come and help with meals and housework is an excellent strategy to introduce a brand new caregiver, working your way up to additional necessary services after the caregiver is known and accepted. The phrasing you utilize can make a big difference as well. Having a “salon day” sounds significantly more inviting, for example.
If you’d like to explore home care in the Windsor, Ontario area for a senior you love with dementia, connect with Amy’s Helping Hands. Our professionally trained, experienced, creative, and compassionate Alzheimer’s caregivers are here to help you minimize stress, improve life for the older adult you love, and provide you with the chance for self-care. Call us at 519.915.4370 to set up an in-home assessment!