Care partners take on a lot of work, without asking for anything in return. They may not receive very much help or assistance from others. This is not good, nor is it healthy for the care partner. When is it the best time to seek out others who could provide some assistance? The answer may surprise you.
As a care partner to a loved one with dementia, one’s situation may begin to feel overwhelming. When the task becomes too much – it is too late. If you find yourself asking the above question, or know someone who has asked you that question, it is time to begin looking to others.
The care partner role can encompass a lot of people. Yes, it includes everyone who cares for a person. The amount of time spent giving care and the distance between care partner and person being cared for does not matter. The stress, pressure, confusion, and need for support are the same. The stress can cause physical pain and affect one’s health.
The list below includes some signs that could be indicators of care partner stress.
D Demanding tasks that, even after they are accomplished make one feel that what they are doing is never enough.
A Alone and having so much to do all by yourself.
N No more happy times, everything is so burdensome and sad.
G Gatherings with family and friends are less frequent.
E Employment or work is suffering due to feeling tired and overwhelmed.
R Reading about dementia and keeping one’s self informed about the diagnosis is not done.
O Only person in the world. This is a negative thought that the care partner sometimes gets. It is a feeling that no one else has felt the way they are feeling.
U You time. No time is available for the care partner to do things they enjoy.
S Social life is non-existent.
It is important to get help immediately if you see one or more of the symptoms listed above, in yourself, a loved one, or friend.
Where to turn for help:
The first place to go for help is to the family physician. It is important that the primary care physician be aware of your role as a care partner. Many health concerns and conditions may be brought about by stress. Your physician is the person who can help you in this regard.
The second place to go for help is the Alzheimer’s Association. We offer the following at no cost:
Information can be accessed at any time through our 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900, and web site, alz.org\dayton. This service is available even in the evenings, all night and on weekends. The phone is answered by a person who is kind and knowledgeable.
Visit alz.org/dayton for a variety of information and resources.
Education is available through care partner Support Groups offered in most of the counties serviced by the Dayton chapter. Programs are offered that give participants opportunity to learn and talk to area physicians and attorneys, program staff, trained Speaker’s Bureau volunteers, and experts on various topics.
For more information on education programs at the Miami Valley Chapter, click HERE.
Support is offered through care consultations with Helpline staff and social workers. Care consultations are individualized plans of care that are developed through meetings that are held with families in the home, on the phone or in the office.
For more information on support groups at the Miami Valley Chapter, click HERE.
Help is available for those with a dementia diagnosis, their care partners and those who love them.