According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, about half a million Canadians are currently living with dementia. If you’re providing care for an older loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related condition, you already know the up-and-down nature of this role. This is why social support is even more crucial for dementia caregivers. Here are five more specific reasons this is the case.
1. Care-Related Duties Can Be Increasingly Demanding
While there are exceptions, many common forms of dementia are progressive, meaning more care is often needed as cognitive decline worsens and other symptoms develop. As this happens, you’ll appreciate having other family members and friends to turn to for emotional support. Social support can also keep you from feeling as if dementia care is occupying every waking moment of your life.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers, but they don’t have to do it alone. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. It’s Not Easy Watching a Loved One Change as Dementia Progresses
No matter how emotionally prepared you may think you are when starting to care for a loved one with dementia, it can be heartbreaking to watch someone you’ve known all your life change. In some situations, this may include stark personality changes, mood swings, unexpected outbursts, combative behavior, or instances of not knowing who you are. In situations like these, having a strong social circle can be greatly appreciated. Support groups for dementia caregivers can be another source of encouragement, since they put you in touch with others going through the same thing.
3. Social Support Helps Caregivers Maintain Their Identities
When caring for loved ones with dementia, caregivers typically put a lot of their own personal interests on the back burner. Having reliable social support gives you opportunities to maintain your own identity by doing things you personally enjoy outside of caregiving. This may involve finding creative ways to remain connected with people other than your loved one, such as using remote connections. Even simply having one or two close friends who will gently nudge you to watch a movie or do other enjoyable activities can be good for your own wellbeing.
The responsibilities associated with caring for a loved one with dementia can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Families looking for top-rated Edmonton elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
4. Friends & Family Members Can Ease the Caregiving Burden
Being a dementia caregiver often means constantly having long to-do lists. Staying connected with friends and family members can ease the burden of daily care for dementia caregivers. Also, it’s a lot easier to comfortably reach out to others for help if you maintain active social connections.
5. Social Support Can Help Caregivers Discover Effective Strategies
Friends, family members, and other caregivers you meet in support groups or online can do more than provide emotional support. You may also discover strategies that can make caregiving less personally challenging. For instance, if you join in regular yoga sessions with some of your friends or family members, you can learn how to achieve greater mental focus and use calming breathing techniques during times when caring for your loved one with dementia becomes especially stressful.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Edmonton live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (780) 490-7337.