There are at present over 15 million family caregivers in the United States of America. A majority of these caregivers are unpaid and take care of a loved one with either Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It is no secret that caregiving takes a toll on mental health and physical well-being. However, this doesn’t deter caregivers from their duties and they consistently try to overcome their everyday challenges. Do you know that it is tougher to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease? The disease causes various behavioral changes that make things difficult for their caregivers. Let’s have a look at some of the caregiver challenges during caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Assisting the loved one in ADLs
When a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, there is a gradual memory loss. As a consequence, a caregiver has to assist him or her in all activities of daily living such as bathing, brushing teeth, toileting, and so on which makes the caregiving task extremely taxing and time-consuming. While many caregivers sustain injuries during transferring their loved ones to bed, many find it too difficult to have some time to take care of their own basic needs.
Isolation and loneliness
Caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients often have to deal with a sense of loneliness and isolation. Some even while surrounded by their family members had to experience loneliness. In many cases, family members start to avoid them because of their reluctance in helping in caregiving tasks. As these caregivers are also not being able to socialize with their friends due to their caregiving responsibilities, negligence by their family members drive them to loneliness.
Keeping the loved one engaged
Since there can be personality changes due to Alzheimer’s disease, it becomes tough for caregivers to keep them engaged for long hours so that they can take care of other important tasks like grocery shopping, bill payment, laundry, meal preparation, and so on. Nowadays, caregivers have to look for innovative ways to keep Alzheimer’s patients active during home isolation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Handling mood swings and anger management are some of the additional challenges that a caregiver has to overcome during taking care of a person with the progressive cognitive disease. If you are a caregiver of a loved one and feeling overwhelmed because of the challenges, you must not hesitate to ask help from others. You can never imagine how some people may be eager to help you in your caregiving journey!