Alzheimer being the sixth leading cause of death in America can be scary if one is unaware of the early warning signs that can began as early as sixty, attacking our baby boom generation. With 75% of caregivers giving care to their loved ones at home, the numbers in caregiver burnout is staggering. The stress of a caretaker which are mainly women is taking a devastating toll causing stress, depression, and other health ailments to the caretakers while they strive to care for their love ones whom are no longer the person they once were. Caretakers, usually a wife/husband/ or a child is usually the ones left taking on the physical and psychological task of monitoring and taking on changing of attitudes and behaviors of the individual.
Many caretakers opt out of sending their loved one to a facility for fear that their care would be neglected by professional health care workers. Caretaker burnout is a serious health issues that needs to be addressed and not hidden behind a curtain. The emotional physical and financial stress alone is too much for the caregiver who suffer in silence and cut back on their own needs in order to care for their love ones. The commitment one makes to care for a spouse or family member is a phenomenal decision but could also work in harmony together as a shared responsibility due to the load it takes for on by one person. A care givers quality of life without the support system significantly diminishes. Caring also ruin the caretakers who desire to socialize with others outside the home but are left feeling alone and unsupported. Although people are living past the age of 85 and older the risk of developing dementia is very high.
If you are a caregiver of a person suffering with dementia, please find ways to utilize outside resources and services in your area. It does not matter if you live in a rural area or in the city. Contact your health insurance to find out what resources they may have to offer. Also, nurses can offer significant ways of lessoning the tasks of caregivers while also helping the caregiver with coping strategies to manage his/her own stress and health issues.
Resource groups for Caregivers:
www.alz.org (Alzheimer’s Association), uses your location and where you live. Support includes online support, message board groups, fundraisers, financial and legal planning.