As I mentioned in a previous post, I am going to focus this Alzheimer’s disease Awareness and Education Month on the role and work of the caregiver. These amazing men and women (and some younger people) are in the trenches daily, nightly, and they give of their hearts so much that they often don’t think about themselves – or take care of themselves, either. You might be in awe of the neighbor, family member, or coworker whose loved one has Alzheimer’s and still lives at home. And you might be tempted to assume that, because they don’t reach out for help, they don’t need any assistance. But that might not be the case. Here’s why:
Some caregivers, especially if they are taking care of a family member, might think that others outside the family do not want to have anything to do with helping in a tangible way.
Others might be so new to the world of Alzheimer’s that they simply do not know what to ask for.
Caregivers might feel as if they’ll lose friends if they “talk too much” about the struggle they are going through.
Or, they might be so tired by the end of long, hard days that they are simply too exhausted to make one more phone call or initiate one more conversation.
So, how should you, as a friend who cares about the caregiver, proceed?
And if the caregiver says, “Oh, there’s nothing you can really do for me,” ask again. Show that your interest in giving assistance, even if it is sitting with the person with Alzheimer’s while the caregiver has a short nap, is genuine and not perfunctory. Truly, even on the broadest of shoulders, the burden of caring for someone with ALZ can be overwheming.
Your question, “What can I do to help,” asked one more time, can make all the difference in bolstering the spirits and strength of yet another, amazing caregiver!
Blessings for the day,