Senior Care News

Managing Compassion Fatigue as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Alzheimer's Care in Sugar Land TX
Alzheimer’s Care in Sugar Land TX

Caring for a family member who has Alzheimer’s disease is an act of care and compassion. But the emotional toll can be massive over time, straining that compassion and making it difficult for family caregivers to take care of themselves. Witnessing the changes that come with Alzheimer’s is not easy, so it’s imperative that family caregivers learn to rely on other resources, including Alzheimer’s care providers, to help them through these difficult times.

Acknowledging the Emotional Baggage

It’s normal to experience a variety of different emotions while caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the emotions family caregivers might experience include grief, anger, frustration, and even guilt. These are powerful emotions and ignoring them doesn’t do anyone any good. Family caregivers need to acknowledge these feelings and then find practical ways to deal with the situation at hand. Home care offers a variety of different solutions, for example. Getting help from Alzheimer’s care experts allows family caregivers to take a step back.

Prioritizing Self-care

One of the ways that family caregivers really do themselves a disservice is through neglecting self-care. Taking care of themselves takes time and energy that they often feel like they don’t have to give, however. It also can feel like a selfish choice to take time away, even for a little while. That’s why it’s important for family caregivers to take advantage of respite time as much as possible, especially when they have access to experienced Alzheimer’s care providers.

Battling Stress and Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue is a specific type of exhaustion caused by significant exposure to other people who are suffering. Because family caregivers can’t undo the suffering their aging family members are experiencing, they start to experience compassion fatigue. Setting boundaries and delegating tasks is an important way to reduce compassion fatigue. Joining a support group of other family caregivers in similar situations helps work through feelings and share experiences. This is an important way to learn new coping mechanisms.

Going it Alone Isn’t the Best Option

It’s tempting to keep trying to go it alone, especially when family caregivers feel like they’re under stress. But that rarely is helpful for anyone involved. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease benefit from having help from a variety of people and family caregivers genuinely benefit from being able to take time away. Seeking support and delegating tasks to someone else are not bad or wrong. This type of extra help ensures that family caregivers are able to continue being there for the seniors they love and Alzheimer’s care providers understand the needs of the people they’re helping.

Caring for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease is complicated. There are good days and there are not so good days, so it’s more important than ever for family caregivers to have a plan in place that helps them to cope with those ups and downs. Alzheimer’s care providers can be there to help out in a variety of different ways, even if that’s only to provide respite assistance when family caregivers need a break.

If you are considering Alzheimer’s care in Sugar Land, TX for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.

At Your Side Home Care, provides exceptional home care assistance for seniors and families in Houston, West Houston, Katy, Memorial, The Heights, Spring Valley, Garden Oaks, Hunters Creek, River Oaks, Hilshire Village, Galleria, Cinco Ranch, Spring Branch, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenburg, Piney Point, Bay City and surrounding areas.

Donna Wrabel, LMSW

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