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What Caretakers Face with Alzheimer's

Updated on September 22, 2013

The Responsibilities Concerning of Caregivers

The article addresses some of the issues caretakers face. In hopes that you will make an informed decision. This was written to help you decide whether or not to care for your family member in the home.

This article is not intended to offend anyone just intended to make families educated on the hard facts of the issues surrounding Alzheimer’s disease.

In no way am I implying for your family member to be put in any nursing home.

What I am implying is to be aware of the possibilities you might need to use a nursing home. Some insurance companies allow a 150 days a year for temporary care. You should find out what your family members insurance covers.

As a caretaker you need a back up plan. Life doesn't stop when you're caring for someone with Alzheimer's.. Something may come up and you can't care for your family member for a few weeks.

There is no shame in taking a break if needed. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can be quite challenging. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's will be the hardest job you will ever do.

Family member with Alzheimer’s disease will need long-term care. In the beginning, they do not need constant care but you may have to pay bills and take over important responsibilities. One of the worst responsibilities is telling your loved one they can't drive anymore.

As the Alzheimer's disease progresses the more care they will need. Due to the progression of the Alzheimer's disease, you will have to either move your loved one in your home or you will have to move into their home. People with Alzheimer's become a danger to themselves. They will not remember to take their medication or they forgot they took their medicine than over medicate themselves.

In the first stages of Alzheimer's your family member may become frustrated because of their own forgetfulness. They will not like all the changes and they do not like to be told what they can or cannot do. At this point they think nothing is wrong and everyone is blowing everything out of proportion.

Your loved one may forget to shut the stove off. This is just one of the many things that can put your loved one in danger.

The first stages of Alzheimer's are hard on you as the caretaker. Because your family member may seem normal. It's confusing for the caretaker because someday maybe great and seem like your loved one has no Alzheimer's.

Your family member will deny their forgetfulness. They will lose the ability to do simple tasks such as wash dishes. So you will find yourself re-washing dishes. At this stage its best to re-wash the dishes than it is not to tell them not to wash the dishes.

They will argue with you if you try to take their independence away.

Some people with Alzheimer’s can become very aggressive sometimes violent and dangerous. At some point you will have to remove sharp objects for your safety.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is demanding and time-consuming. Someone has to be there 24/7. You cannot go nowhere without planning for someone to be there to care for your family member. At some point, the stress will become overwhelming. Even with more than one person doing the care-taking.

You have to have a lot of patients. You have to be willing to sacrifice years of your life. People with Alzheimer’s tend to live long. Caretakers often die before the family member with Alzheimer's.

Signs Caretakers Need Help

  • The caretaker becomes very stressed out and becomes easily frustrated.
  • Caretaker forgets their own needs.
  • Don't have time for fun.
  • Feelings of hopelessness.
  • Become more and more angry at yourself and other family members.
  • Crying spells
  • Finding yourself clenching down on your teeth.
  • Constant worries and thoughts that surround your family member. Another words your mind is totally consumed with everything revolving around your loved one.
  • Fear that others feel like you're not doing a good enough job caring for your family member.
  • Start to resent your family member.

You must take care of yourself first. You must ask for help whenever possible. You must have some "me" time on a regular base.

As the Alzheimer's disease progresses. Your loved one will go from walking, to a walker, then to a wheelchair.

Taking someone with Alzheimer’s anywhere becomes more challenging as the disease progresses.

Issues with friends and family: Believe me when I tell you. People just do not understand the stress involved. They see your family member for a short while. They see this little old lady or man as sweet as honey. They think that oh how bad can it be. They will judge you and ridicule you. They will make you darn right angry. Because they never took care of someone much less took care of someone with Alzheimer's.. They simply do not realize what it takes to be a caretaker..

Legal issues like power of attorney, wills, becomes a family problem. Often families go through legal battles with other family members.

Before ever agreeing to care for someone you need to get with everyone in your family. You need to know what their feeling and thoughts are with you being a power of attorney.

You need to not put this off because your elderly parents still have moments of being competent to sign the necessary papers in order for their wishes to be applied. If your parent or parents want you to have their property in exchange for caring for them. You must have the property or properties put in your name. This is the safest and easiest way to ensure that other family members can't demand their share of the will. Just because your parents left you with properties does not mean the will cannot be contested.

Caretakers Face Possible Jail

You as the caretaker is completely responsible for the well-being of your family member. You could get reported by anyone for neglect or abuse. Elderly people tend to bruise easily and their skin is easily torn. You could easily be reported by health care workers for bruises that was caused by an accident that your family member had. You might have bruised them yourself while giving your family member some assistance. The authorities will do a full investigation. That means you could even go to jail.

My suggestion will be to read other people's stories, go on forums. Stories of people who live with a person with Alzheimer’s. Not associations, and health care providers. They really have no clue.


Types of Power of Attorney

If you have power of attorney now check to see which power of attorney you now have checked to see if your power of attorney has expired. If you do not have power of attorney this article explains which power of attorney has what responsibilities and what each one means.

Alzheimers Caregivers are Not Alone

Alzheimer's don't do it Alone get Help

As a caregiver myself. I started to give up my own needs. I stopped taking care of myself because of frustration. I would be so tired mentally and physically that I simply neglected myself.

As the Alzheimer's progress the more care is needed. You at some point will need help. Mark my words. If you really love your loved one. You should seek out help.

More About Alzheimer's

Feeding Tube Care

If you do not know how to take care of a feeding tube. Here is step by step instructions.

How to Feed Someone with Alzheimer’s

Feeding someone with Alzheimer's can be challenging. If your loved one has a lot of accidents and spills. You can find many great ideas to make life easier on you during mealtimes. You will also supply a sense of Independence to the person you are caring for.

Are You Taking Care of Someone with Alzheimer's?

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    • profile image

      l honeychuck 5 years ago

      very nicely written , I have to disagree with the statement about health care workers though. Most people do not realize that health care workers are people too and yes we also have to care for our family members as well. As a home care nurse my patient and caregivers are my responsibility. The skin tears bruises are not the issues for being caregivers being sent to jail. it is leaving the family member alone when specifically instructed not to . It breaks my heart to hear of someone who has wandered off because the family couldn't bear taking away the keys to the car or the are found dead in the woods. But when a patient is left alone consistently even with repeated instructions not to do so then I have no recourse but to get the authorities involved .

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 6 years ago

      Thanks for commenting! I just hope no caretaker goes to jail for something they did not do. I hope this article is an eye opener.

    • Carrie Hollister profile image

      Carrie Hollister 6 years ago from Ohio

      I used to be in the health care field. I totally agree with what you have written.

      One of the things that health care workers or caretakers never think of is the possibility of facing jail even if it is something that they had nothing to do with or something beyond their control which is sometimes hard to prove.

      I voted this up! Thank you for publishing this!