Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a joy, but it can often be a struggle as well. You may be taking care of an aging parent or grandparent. Whether you look after your loved one in an assisted living facility or at home, you want to show your love and appreciation for everything they have done for you throughout your life. And yet, sometimes thoughts creep in that you’re not very proud of. Why are you having these thoughts and how can you deal with the feelings behind them?
Mom/Dad take me for granted.
You do what you can to make your loved one feel comfortable and make yourself available even at the risk of neglecting your own If you feel that your loved one takes you for granted, casually mention some of the services you’ve provided recently and that you will take an hour or so to do something for yourself now and then.
My mom tries to control everything I do – she is so bossy.
Mom may be used to taking the lead in your life, and it’s second nature. If your mom or dad complain about something you are doing, smile and acknowledge their comment, but also say “there are many ways to do this.”
I’m not doing a good-enough job.
You may feel that you are unqualified for the job of caretaker. After all, you have no training, no medical skills, and could very easily over- or under-medicate your loved one. Remember that you can look up any specific information that you need to know and be kind and forgiving to yourself.
I was very rude to my loved one before they were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Maybe you were a little impatient when your mom forgot what you told her about the kids, or that she misplaced her keys or important papers. Maybe you thought they were acting weird and you were irritated with them. Don’t be too hard on yourself – without knowing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s you could not have known why they were acting that way.
I shouldn’t take time away from my loved one to get a manicure or go for a walk.
This is wrong. You absolutely should take the time to do something for yourself and make time for it several times a week. Being kind to yourself will make you a better caretaker.
My loved one is useless, and we should pull the plug.
It’s hard to watch someone you love suffer and become weaker and weaker every day. You can discuss your feelings with other family members, a doctor and the hospice nurse and discuss options.
I don’t want my mom to live with me.
There could be many reasons why you don’t want your mom to live with you. She may be emotionally draining you. Your home may have lost its esthetic with all the hospital equipment around. You may feel like you have no place to hide. If you have the room and you can separate mom’s living quarters from the rest of your living quarters, fine. Otherwise, consider an assisted living situation.
I have no social life.
You may feel that taking care of your parent has destroyed your social life. Remember that you have a life Make time to chat with your best friends as often as possible and schedule a lunch or visit as soon as possible.
My dad embarrasses me.
Now that your dad has Alzheimer’s, it may be embarrassing to hear the things he says in public. Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Your true friends will understand if Dad makes a social faux pas. Don’t feel you need to apologize.
I’m not feeling guilty enough.
Yes, this is a reason to feel guilty too. You may feel that you are not sensitive enough to your loved one’s fate. Don’t! Everyone has different sensibilities. Trust your instinct.
If you feel like you are not able to provide the necessary level of care to your loved one consider moving to an assisted living facility. Contact AutumnGrove Cottage for more information.