When it comes down to caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, we usually talk about how Alzheimer’s and Dementia affects residents mind and weakens their bodies. Although, this is true, we often forget how Alzheimer’s affects caregivers health and loved ones, as well.
How Alzheimer’s Affects Caregiver Health
Every day, there are a multitude of challenges that face caregivers. They have to stay ahead of seniors’ health, and they also need to adapt to the ongoing levels of behavior. All of these difficulties that they face can cause them to be susceptible to illnesses, such as depression.
The daily tasks of feeding, bathing, preparing medicine, and dressing and grooming make being a caregiver a full-time job, and can affect caregiver health if the caregiver’s condition is not monitored.
Five Ways Alzheimer’s Affects Caregivers Health
Depression – Depression is the most prevalent way that Alzheimer’s affects caregivers health. The daily grind of watching a loved one’s mental and physical conditions worsen is enough to cause depression. Depression is found in up to 70% of all caregivers.
Stress – The constant demand of taking care of your loved one can produce stress. Stress can cause immediate health problems in the form of hypertension, and can also eventually lead to heart conditions, and even a stroke.
Insomnia – Insomnia and a change in sleep patterns are another symptom of how Alzheimer’s can affect a caregivers health. Even if the person you are caring for sleeps well in the night, it’s possible that you might worry about their condition and always feel the need to check on them. The lack of sleep can create many different health conditions.
Burnout – One health condition that can affect a caregiver’s mental and physical health is burnout. When a person feels burnout, they can lack enthusiasm and eventually decide that they cannot take care of the care recipient any longer.
Unhealthy Eating Habits – Alzheimer’s caregivers often neglect their own health through unhealthy eating habits. Instead of taking the time to fuel their bodies, they tend to eat fast food or eat snacks that have less nutrition, and their bodies pay the price.
How Alzheimer’s Caregivers Can Protect Their Health
Here are some suggestions that caregivers should follow to maintain vigorous health:
- Share the Load – Alzheimer’s disease can often turn care giving into a full-time job. It is impossible for one person to do the work alone. Try to find another family member, friend, or even hire professionals to help you with some of the daily tasks before conditions become overwhelming.
- Use Free Time Wisely – Use your free time to eat nutritious meals, exercise, and get enough sleep. Remember, if you don’t stay healthy, it’s impossible for you to help a care recipient.
- Hire Professionals – There might come a day when you will require full-time professional help for your loved one. Applewood Our House understands the care required for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Our residents receive around-the-clock assistance and allow family members to return to as normal of a life as possible. Family members can then use their free time to provide as much quality time as possible for their loved ones.
How Alzheimer’s Affects Caregiver Health – Conclusion
Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is a marathon and not a sprint. It can weaken the strongest caregiver, and you need to plan your tasks and activities wisely.
If you are in the Golden, Arvada, or Lakewood, Colorado areas, find out how Applewood Our House can assist with Alzheimer’s disease. Whatever you do, look after your health as much as you look after the care recipient’s health.