Taking a Break While Looking After a Loved One Diagnosed With Dementia
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
When a loved one is first diagnosed with Dementia, carers often feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility for them. A moment of self-sacrifice is birthed. They may feel the need to carry the weight of solely managing their health, care and personal needs. What's more overwhelming is the sense of guilt that accompanies not caring for them and transferring their care to a professional service.
It all starts with the good intention to ensure the best care is provided for their loved one. Intentions to make sure they remain in the safety of their own home and the familiarity of their surroundings. Making sure everything is perfect and up to their personal standards gets exhausting. Before they know it, they are tired, cranky and resentful. All too often carers wait until the point of exhaustion or a life event occurs, before seeking help. Then when they need it, it takes time to access services. This adds to the carer stress.
People with Dementia often have high care needs, and their needs increase as monitoring increases and independence decreases over time. Many carers attempt to carry the burden of 24-hour care on their own. Some do it by choice; some do it because they do not know that help is available.
Getting care and support for someone with Dementia early has its benefits. Starting early provides time for carers and their loves ones to learn about Dementia and how to manage it. Starting early provides time to access services and join wait lists before care support becomes urgent. It also provides an opportunity to return to a routine.
There are several high quality services available to support people with Dementia. Specialised services such as in home live in care, or short stay emergency respite services and even day centres offer carers a break in carrying the responsibility of care for their loved ones all on their own. These short breaks provide opportunities for carers of people with Dementia to rest, recuperate and regenerate so that they can continue to lead the charge as the primary care giver.
Awareness is the first step. There are more than 150 types of Dementia with different symptoms.
Be aware that you are not alone with caring for someone with Dementia. Be aware that there are specialist services available to help in ways that meet your specific needs.
For more information about dementia services call the Dementia Helpline.
For tips on tackling the feelings of guilt, read here: Overcoming The Guild Felt As A Carer.
Or for more information or a little helping hand, contact Danielle Robertson, DR Care Solutions: