27 Apr Caregivers Supporting Caregivers
Loved ones and family members of those with memory loss have their own difficulties as caregivers. While they aren’t the ones living with dementia, they are deeply affected by it. Caring for a family member with memory loss is not easy on the caregiver. Even though their loved one may be living at an Alzheimer’s care facility in Troy, a caregiver’s work is never truly over as they continue to love and support their family member. To maintain their own sense of wellbeing, it’s important for caregivers to look after themselves and one of the best ways to do that is to connect with other people who are in a similar situation with their own loved ones. By joining a caregiver support network, there are many lessons that can be learned by sharing experiences. Some of the conversations that happen at a meeting include:
- Understanding you’re not alone – One of the greatest takeaways that a person can glean from belonging to a support network is that they aren’t alone and that there are others out there who share similar feelings and emotions about their role as caregiver to a person with memory loss. For many people, just the knowledge that they are supported in their feelings can give them the encouragement they need to carry on.
- Understanding Alzheimer’s care facilities – Many people find the process of selecting an Alzheimer’s care facility to be stressful and overwhelming. There are many feelings that surround the decision to move a loved one from home to a memory loss community.. Belonging to a caregiver’s support group shows individuals that others in the group share the same feelings about selecting an Alzheimer’s care facility for their loved ones.
Understanding is normal – While caregivers have the best intentions and want to do everything they can for their loved ones with memory loss, it’s only natural that they will experience moments of frustration, particularly when their family member forgets who they are or becomes agitated during what’s supposed to be a nice visit. A support network lets caregivers express feelings of frustration or annoyance and understand these are completely human and normal.
- Understand you don’t need permission to have your own life – Caregivers often have a hard time letting go of their loved ones, even after they’ve living at an Alzheimer’s care facility. It’s normal for caregivers to experience pangs of guilt or regret when they start to regain their life or enjoy themselves again. A support network shows caregivers that it’s ok to move on and regain a social life of one’s own. In fact, it’s a healthy part of life and will enable them to provide better support to their loved ones when they are happy and fulfilled in their own life, where their only role isn’t as a caregiver.