When caring for old and sickly people, nobody does a better job at this than the caregiver. Of course, that’s what they are paid to do but if you think about it, it’s not easy being a caregiver. And with my experience, it’s not being easy being a caregiver of a patient who has Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, even caregivers should demand just as much care as the patient, since these people are the ones who provide care and attention to elderly people who have Alzheimer’s. If I ask you to take care of your grandfather or grandmother who actually has no idea who you are or just keeps on talking without really knowing your name, you’d probably lose your wits or worse, lose your temper. If you’re fortunate enough to have a caretaker do that for you, then the least you could do is take care of him or her!
If your caretaker has to take care of his/her own family after working hours, this may result in a burnout. Many start to feel lonely and isolated, especially if they’re taking care of the patient round the clock. You can alleviate this problem by allowing friends and/or family members of your caregiver inside the house as visitors. For security purposes though, instruct your caregiver to keep visitors to a minimum and during certain periods of the day when the patient is sleeping or resting. This way, your caregiver can enjoy the simple pleasures of interacting with his/her family and friends without having to worry about the well-being of his/her patient.
Since there’s so much information regarding Alzheimer’s Disease available, it’s important to let your caregiver know about such things. Providing free access to the Internet is one way of helping your caregiver in accessing more information about the disease. This includes new information on how to give care, the availability of new medicines and other important information about the disease. It is best to let other members of the family know about such information too, since your caregiver also needs your support in helping the patient in coping with the degenerative disease.
Giving your caregiver time to rest and relax is also important. Lunch breaks and small 15 minute breaks actually matter, since it gives your caregiver the time to take it easy and rest. The rest of the family members inside the house should help in taking care of the patient so that the caregiver can get out of the house every once in awhile. Sadly, some people do not generally like the idea of taking care of an elderly patient with Alzheimers because of the discomfort it brings, but as members of the family, it is an obligation to help out an elderly member. The caregiver is only there to assist the patient when you or members of the family are not around to help, not to act as a surrogate family member.
Help with everyday chores is also important. There’s no way that the caregiver can do everything inside the house, so ask some of the members of the family to help out with the chores. Bringing a cooked meal, buying the groceries, and doing the laundry are just some of the most basic help that you can do to help the caregiver with the household chores. If no one is available to help, you may want to talk to an agency who can help out with these issues. Remember that the caregiver is there to take care of the elderly patient, not your home.
Make sure to remember all these tips and your caregiver should have no problem taking care of the elderly patient.
About the Author:
Jessica Greenberg is a caregiver from San Diego, California. She believes in the importance of learning about various medical alert systems and good port protectors for anyone who wishes to start a career in care-giving.