“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford
We know that no man (or woman) is an island, something that especially rings true when caring for a person with Alzheimer’s. However, many Alzheimer’s caregivers falter when it comes to asking for or accepting the help they need. As a result, stress is exacerbated as there’s little, if any, time for self-care – an essential feature for any person in a caregiving role.
Why are Alzheimer’s caregivers frequently so resolved to tackle such an incredible undertaking independently? The following are a number of common reasons and how we can rethink them:
- No one else could care for Mom like I do. While you are certainly not replaceable, the objective of enlisting help is not replacement but respite. A loved one with Alzheimer’s will benefit from the socialization provided by someone other than yourself, while you gain the benefit of a much-needed break – ultimately allowing you to provide better care to the senior when you return.
- Mom would not want someone else caring for 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 a great way to introduce a new caregiver, working your way up to additional necessary services once the caregiver is known and accepted. The phrasing you use can make a big difference as well. Having a “salon day” sounds significantly more inviting, for instance.
- It is too complicated to try to find a caregiver I am able to trust. At Seniorcorp, we background check and comprehensively train all of our caregivers, confirming key character traits such as flexibility, reliability, kindness, and more. Seniorcorp is insured and bonded, for your additional peace of mind. We also meticulously match each senior together with the ideal caregiver who will be most compatible. Finally, if an older adult’s primary caregiver is sick or on vacation, we will provide an equally-qualified replacement caregiver.
- I’m doing just fine on my own; I do not need a break. To put it simply, science disagrees! A study shared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that a specific stress hormone was depleted in caregivers whose stress was chronic and prolonged – such as in providing dementia care independently – while those who engaged just 2 days each week of respite achieved a rise in the hormone in addition to a brighter outlook and elevated mood.
If you’d like to explore in-home respite care for a senior you love with Alzheimer’s, contact Seniorcorp. Our fully trained, experienced, creative, and compassionate caregivers are available to help you minimize stress, enhance life for the older adult you love, and provide you with the opportunity for self-care. Call us at 757-640-0557 to set up a free in-home assessment and to learn more about our senior services in Chesapeake, VA and the surrounding area!