It is the hope of most folks to be in their own home for as long as possible. Home caregivers (usually family members) make this possible longer for people who suffer from dementia or other neurological or physiological conditions by helping their loved ones adapt to and cope with limitations in ability, mobility, communication and cognition.
The caregiver is constantly working to stabilize or lessen the progression of disorders with exercise, nutrition, activity, hygiene and generally some mix of medicinal schedules. It can be a very hard and often heartbreaking job, yet so many take it on as a labor of love.
Studies have shown that “the health and general well-being” of a family caregiver can have a direct impact on the quality of life and success of therapy for dementia patients in their care.
Additionally, research indicates that dementia patients have higher rates of behavioral symptoms and mortality when cared for by carers who are stressed, use emotion-based coping (e.g., wishing that the disease would go away), or negative communication strategies.
Finding an effective coping mechanism for both the patient and the caregiver are important for all involved, as everyone’s health and well-being are inter-connected and inter-dependent.
Happily, there are many resources for the family caregiver to call on to help with the daunting and difficult task of providing home care for their loved one. Understanding the changing needs and communication strategies of their charges is an important factor in successfully managing a home care situation.
One such sources was provided by the Lewy Body Dementia association, found online here (http://www.lbda.org/content/understanding-behavioral-changes-dementia), the document helps to set expectations about caring for people with dementia, and also offers a helpful section titled “Care for the Caregiver” that includes common sense suggestions for maintaining personal equilibrium in the face of such demanding and difficult work.
Many other sources for information and helpful resources for the caregiver can be found online, with many different organizations providing helpful resources for home caregiving needs.
If you need help with finding and connecting with useful resources, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to pass on any information we have available.