When a family member falls ill, the most common is that the people around him turn to him, worry about how to make him feel better and offer him everything possible. When it comes to a degenerative disease with no cure such as Alzheimer’s, this concern is accompanied by an almost constant accompaniment because the person ends up becoming dependent on others, their caregivers.
In recent years, with the deepening of this disease and other dementias, it has been proven that these caregivers are the great forgotten. Starting with themselves, they forget about their health and focus on how to get the person with Alzheimer’s in the best possible condition . That forgetfulness and everything that goes into caring for someone with this disease can end up leading to depression .
It is therefore important to spend time and effort in caring for and caring for these caregivers, to prevent them from suffering from other ailments associated with caring for their relatives with Alzheimer’s. These can be physical, due to the effort that sometimes involves carrying these people, but above all psychological when spending a lot of time with them and, sometimes, without assessing their well-being.
A 24 hour job
A person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s involves a lot of care that is often provided by the closest relatives, especially women. This is a very lonely job, as it is usually done by a single person . That makes him spend many hours, not to say that he spends all day with her, because he does not have a relay. It is a 24-hour job, which limits your enjoyment of other aspects of your life.
If he has to accompany the family member with Alzheimer’s all day, his life ends up being limited to him, his only universe is that person. You may not have a paid job before the illness was diagnosed or you might have to turn it down to care for the sick , which brings even greater responsibility to your family member, even frustrating you.
The fact of dedicating so much time to the patient means that she does not see much beyond that person and that she stops seeing herself as a person with a life of her own. This can cause you to isolate yourself from your partner, friends, and other family members and end up losing those relationships. He turns in such a way that there is hardly room for anything else and his life ends up being reduced to accompanying and caring for the person with Alzheimer’s.
The relationship with the patient
This in itself is no longer good, because it isolates the caregiver. But it must be taken into account that an Alzheimer’s patient has impaired memory, which makes him forget who his caregiver is, even if it is a very close relative. This confusion is usually accompanied by anger , even violence, and these are aimed at whoever cares for him, because it is with whom he is continuously.
This means that the caregiver can fall into depression for various reasons, because on the one hand he can see that his life has been limited to the universe of the patient, who does not do or cannot do anything else. But on the other, he does not receive a positive response from the one he cares for, quite the contrary. You may feel undervalued and attacked at times, no matter how hard you try to make life easier for you.
The caregiver’s respite
All this is what has led to the importance of caring for caregivers, because they end up seeing their health diminish. The way to do it is to help him out so that he can “free” a few hours or days from that caregiving job. For this reason, it is important to know the resources offered by public administrations or those that can be accessed in the private sector . Among them we find, in addition to permanent residences or for vacation periods, day centers or support services by the hour.
The time that the family member is not cared for, that other people are doing, the caregiver has to take advantage of to do activities that fulfill them and which they would have given up if they continued with the care. In addition to maintaining a social life according to your wishes, it may also be advisable to meet other people in the same situation , because they are the ones with whom you can best understand each other.
Talking about the situation, how a caregiver feels is important and you can avoid falling into depression just by outsourcing it. You cannot shut it up because you think you have no right to complain. Quite the opposite. If you need to vent, you should be able to do so in a safe environment and if you need help, you should be able to ask for it, either from other family members or from outside services.
When a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this has an important impact on the family nucleus, although it is clear that those who turn to them are the ones who are going to be affected the most. Life is going to change, but the ideal is that this modification is as minor as possible and that there is an adaptation to the new circumstances. This is how you can prevent them from suffering from depression.