You have questions about so many things right now. I know I did when I was in your shoes! So here are some answers to the following questions to help you with your loved one's dementia journey. I'll continue to add questions so let me know if you have any specific ones!

Some dementia caregiver frequently asked questions:

  • When's the right time to get help with my loved one with dementia?
  • What kind of help is best for me as a dementia caregiver?
  • Can we afford help with building a dementia plan?
  • I've GOT this (or do I?) syndrome
  • How long will this dementia journey last?

When's the right time to get help?

Most family members wait until a fall or another health failure happens (to either the loved one or their caregiver). That creates a crisis. Then everyone is in panic mode to find care for the loved one.

Many memory care communities have waitlists and so the right place not be available during this crisis. You could end up spending a lot of money and end up at community that is not best suited for your loved one.

Want to avoid this stress and expense? Let's work together to create a plan that provides the best care possiblee for your loved one during the different phases of their journey.

 Set your complimentary, no obligation 30-minute meeting so that we can get started now, while things are sane and stable. Once you have your plan, you can decide the frequency and timing of working with me, as your knowledgeable guide and expert, by your side.

My clients tell me all the time that they wished they'd reached out to me sooner. Do you want to be saying that, too?

Avoid being at wit's end before you have to make critical decisions about your loved one's care. Don't wait unitl your health and your relationship with your loved one suffers. 

 

What kind of help is best?

Let's start out with a 30-minute complimentary call where we can talk about your specific situation and I can provide you with if and how I can help. For more details on the process, click here.

You may be thinking that family takes care of family best, and in some less serious situations, that's true. But mid- to late-stage dementia and Alzheimer's Disease require 24/7 "eyes on" care that requires professional training. 

As soon as a spouse/son/daughter starts providing personal care (think toileting, showering, dressing, etc.) to a loved one, the relationship changes.  You give up your previous role for the role of caregiver. Is that really what your loved one would want? Probably not. Let's talk about how to put the pieces of this puzzle in the right places.

 

Can we afford help?

If you're considering transitioning your loved one to a care community, then the cost of working with a Dementia expert to build a personalized, criteria-based caregiving plan is negligible. This expert guidance is invaluable because it comes with support, coaching, and a lifeline. Maybe the question really is, can you afford to not get help and try to go it alone?

 

"I've got this" or Do I?

As soon as a spouse/son/daughter starts providing personal care (think toileting, showering, dressing, etc.) to a loved one, the relationship changes.  You give up your previous role for the role of caregiver. Is that really what your loved one would want? Probably not.

Since mid- to late-stage dementia and Alzheimer's requires 24/7 "eyes on" care,  the caregiver's relationships with others (spouse, children, friends) suffers.  For this type of care, most caregivers have to quit their jobs and count on one income, which can put undue stress on the household finances.

 Let's talk about how to put the pieces of this puzzle in the right places.

 

How long will this last?

There are two answers to this question: it depends and no one knows. Dementia, and Alzheimer's specifically, are very unique to the individual, from symptoms to duration. The Alzheimer's Association says that the average time a person lives with the disease after diagnosis is four to eight years, with symptoms and behaviors progressing over that time.  

If you're like others of my clients, although you really want to care for your loved one, you're realizing you don't have the skills, time, finances, equipment, and energy to continue doing these very difficult care tasks. 

Think about it. A care community has professional caregivers trained in dementia and a full staff to watch over, care for, and guide your loved one. You're just one person. You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting or getting help.

 

Should I be my Loved One's Caregiver?

That depends on what your reasons are for caregiving.  Your loved one loves YOU as their spouse/daughter/ son/grandchild. When you become a caregiver, that role changes.

I don't know of any adult who wants their family taking care of their personal hygiene and toileting them. And if you're not trained and skilled in how to communicate and physically lift and care for someone with dementia, you could do more harm than good.

Then there's the emotional impact of their anger and frustration with themselves, potentially taking it out on,and your reaction to that. It stresses the best relationships and sometimes, damages them permanently.

On another note, check out this table from the Alzheimer's Association on how your health is affected by caregiving for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's. Would your loved one want your health, relationships, quality of life, and well-being to be affected like this? I doubt it.

What could help you is a criteria-based plan, based on you and your loved one's situation.  It's structured in an "If -then" format ... if THIS happens, then we do THAT.  Along with the plan, you'll have access to me to ask your questions and get answer, check in regarding emotions and experiences, and to be there for you when you need it most. Get more details here.

Impact on Dementia Caregiver Health