Imagine how it might feel to awaken in an unrecognizable location, not being able to remember how you arrived there or even who you are. Complete disorientation quickly turns into fear and anger, and you may now find yourself yelling at the complete stranger positioned beside your bed, talking to you in a quiet voice.
This scenario paints a frightening and sadly accurate representation of someone with dementia’s reality. Now imagine standing in front of someone you love, and having that person look at you with no recognition whatsoever. Each day your heart breaks a little more, but you push through the pain and go on with your care obligations for your loved one with dementia.
Based upon a recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association, a whopping 17.7 billion hours of care are supplied by family caregivers each year to people with Alzheimer’s. With the persistent emotional strain that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can cause, it is no doubt one of the most stressful forms of care provision. Family caregivers have a number of issues that add to their degree of stress, such as problems with “letting go” of the person impacted by the disease; feelings of guilt when contemplating nursing home placement; or fear of seeming vulnerable and inadequate if outside assistance is required.
Undeniably, these statistics show a critical need for chronic and long-term respite care services. And respite care is needed more frequently than once or twice per year to be truly beneficial. Family caregivers need to know that support is not only helpful but essential, and they need to take a break and enjoy a life of their own. Devoting a life exclusively to providing care for another person can in fact cause great harm to both individuals’ lives. Family caregivers who allow themselves ongoing respite feel refreshed and better able to provide the best level of care. And those who do not are at risk for caregiver burnout.
Bring in some caregiving support if you recognize the symptoms of burnout, including:
- Elevated stress and tension
- Incapacitating depression
- Prolonged anxiety, anger or guilt
- Decreased overall life satisfaction
- Relationship issues and social isolation
- Compromised immunity and greater need for healthcare services
- Excessive use of medicines, alcohol, or drugs
If any of these warning signs resonates with you, call Effraim Home Care for trusted respite care services at (215) 826-7422. We’ll provide a complimentary in-home assessment, and develop a customized dementia support care plan for your loved one, providing you with a much-needed chance to recharge. Our care team is here to provide your family with trusted respite care in Horsham, PA or throughout the surrounding area. To learn more about the different areas we serve in Pennsylvania, please visit our Locations Served page.