A someone shared this article with me earlier today. It gives a good glimpse into what a lot of family caregivers deal with every day while losing income, freedom, career advancement, because they’re taking time off from work or have quit all together to care for a loved one. And there are a lot of people doing this all alone, becoming more and more isolated as friends and supports slip away.
While I am a solo caregiver, I am lucky that I can get by on not much sleep and have a really good education and skills that I have been able to use to create income, but not everyone can just go start a business and even I don’t have the time I truly need to nurture and grow mine as much as I’d like.
Furthermore, most of us contribute to care and supplies for our loved ones out of pocket, because a lot of care is not covered. This is often done with no compensation, no thought toward diminished resources or future and it is wrong.
Below are just a few of the behaviors caregivers may deal with (and this is in addition to the other mundane things we do like cooking, cleaning, managing medications, doctor’s appointments, laundry, clothing groceries, cleaning up things your never expect to have to clean for another adult, and playing amateur psychologist, nutritionist, nurse, and activities director).
We need to do better for our vulnerable populations and the people who care for them. The elderly should not end up in facilities just because we don’t know what else to do with them or because a caregiver has reached the end of her rope. Such decisions should be made based on what is best for our loved ones, not burnout or poverty and I’ve seen the latter happen again and again in the care circles I belong to.
The Challenging Behaviors Associated With Dementia
Some of the most common challenging behaviors and personality changes that dementia brings include:
Apathy or disinterest
Changes in personality
Following another person around the house all day
Night time waking
Physical acting out (hitting)