New Jersey Family Caregivers Often Depend On Outside Help for Alzheimer’s

Posted by: Xiaomei Sun Comments: 0

For New Jersey family caregivers who care for a loved one with dementia, it is often an uphill battle – one marked with frustration, stress, sadness, and, all too often, a severe case of burnout.

It’s a life that can be suffocating and unrelenting, one that doesn’t give the caregiver the chance to catch her breath.  Many in hindsight say it’s the most difficult time of their life.  That’s why so many family members who serve as primary caregivers feel the need to reach out to a home care agency to make their life just a little more bearable.

Research shows just how difficult it can be. First of all, it is lonely – one of the most common feelings caregivers report is isolation.  They feel they are very much in this alone.  It was also found that 61 percent of family caregivers say their level of emotional stress is high or very high.

Secondly, the vast majority of Alzheimer’s family caregivers, research showed, worry not only about the health of their loved one, but about their own health as well. Three out of four of those family caregivers surveyed reported being concerned about maintaining their own health which can become precarious when many of their own needs – eating properly, exercising, and sleeping – go by the wayside.

And third, communication breakdowns often become a major challenge. The loss of their loved one’s ability to communicate was ranked among what frightens caregivers the most (only behind general health and physical capabilities). Nearly half said communication breakdowns between them and their patient greatly affected their overall stress level.

In addition, research shows that a majority of these caregivers don’t receive the stress relief they need from their support networks (typically other family members). These individuals are on the front lines, and often they face their daily battles alone.  Other family members, as well meaning as they may be, often say in hindsight that they had no idea just how bad things were, as even those patients with moderate dementia can often keep things together long enough during a two-hour visit or a 15-minute phone call to fool people into thinking this.

This is why it’s so important for family caregivers to be able to reach out to a home care agency. It gives them a chance to grab on to a life buoy that can prevent them from being completely overwhelmed.

These caregivers learn to count on a certified home health aide or companion for a much-needed break, whether it is for several days or even hours a week.  This gives them the chance to recharge their batteries, whether it means visiting friends or family, shopping, or working out.

In some cases, they may depend on the home care agency to provide them with live-in respite care so they can go away for a week or two a year, knowing their loved one is well cared for at home in their absence.  This can be difficult for a family caregiver to do, but it’s essential in order for them to maintain their own health and well-being.

Fortunately, it’s being there to care for patients with mild to moderate dementia that is in the wheelhouse of many home care agencies.  This is what they do best.  In most cases, their caregivers have been specially trained in caring for these types of patients.

Caring for a family member with dementia can take over one’s life.  But having a New Jersey home health care agency nearby to pick up the slack can make all the difference in whether the family caregiver not only gets away with their sanity, but also thrives with their own health and well being. ~

If you need a break from family caregiver duties, Affinity Care of NJ stands ready to assist you.

Contact Us Today! 

(877) 332-1515

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