“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford
No one is an island, especially when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. However, many family caregivers struggle with asking for or accepting the help they need. As a result, there is little or no time for self-care – an important feature for anyone in a caregiving role – and stress levels begin to soar.
Why are we often so determined to tackle such an extraordinary undertaking independently? The following are a number of common excuses Alzheimer’s caregivers make and why we must rethink them:
It’s too hard to try to find a caregiver I am able to trust. At The Care Company, we background check and comprehensively train every one of our caregivers, confirming key character traits such as reliability, kindness, flexibility, and much more. The Care Company is insured and bonded, for your additional peace of mind. We also meticulously match each older adult together with the ideal caregiver who will be most compatible. And, if a caregiver falls ill or goes on vacation, you will be provided with another highly-qualified replacement caregiver.
I am doing just fine on my own; I do not need a break. To put it simply, science disagrees! A research study shared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that a particular 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 a rise in the hormone along with a brighter outlook and elevated mood.
No one else could take care of Mom like I will. Of course, you’re irreplaceable as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, but the aim of enlisting help is not replacement. It’s respite care. A family member with Alzheimer's will 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 older adult when you return.
Mom would never want somebody else taking care of her. Most of us would balk if we were told that someone was coming over to bathe us. But having someone come and help with meals and housework is a good way to introduce a new caregiver, working your way up to additional necessary services once the caregiver is known and accepted. The phrasing you utilize will make a significant difference as well. Having a “salon day” sounds much more inviting, for instance.
If you’ve fallen into one or more of these common excuses for Alzheimer’s caregivers and you would like to explore options for respite care in Toronto and the nearby areas for someone you love with Alzheimer's, reach out to The Care Company. The skilled, compassionate caregivers at The Care Company are available to help you minimize stress, enhance life for the senior you love, and provide you with the chance for self-care. Contact us online or at 416-422-2273 to learn more about our services!