Alzheimer’s throws a wrench into a family’s life. There is no longer big picture thinking, but simply moment to moment, hour to hour and day to day. Families, friends and caregivers must alter how they interact with someone living with Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “over 40 percent of all caregivers say they live with high levels of stress, and at least half suffer from depression. Such turmoil saps a person’s strength, patience, and energy, making it even harder to give loved ones the care they need. Depression and stress also threaten a caregiver’s health by weakening the immune system and raising the risk of heart disease, substance abuse, and many other disorders”. Life has to move forward, but we have to remember that we cannot take care of someone else if we are not healthy.
Chris Woolston a reporter from HealthDay states, “You can’t do everything yourself. Even if you’re physically capable of performing every task your loved one needs, your mind can’t take the endless strain. There’s no shame in asking a relative, friend, professional aide, or adult daycare service to give you some time off. If you don’t know anyone who can help, call your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for advice”. Taking care of a family member can put a strain on you and your family and it is key to stay grounded and balanced. Doing so will allow you and the person suffering to cope much better.