When someone finds themselves in the role of a caregiver, there are some key questions and things to consider when they start to see brain change.
What are my strengths and weaknesses as a caregiver?
Everyone has things that they are good at and things that they struggle with, and it is important to know the difference. When someone finds themselves in the role of a caregiver, it is important to take an honest look at strengths and struggles so that you can begin to look for help. Why is this important? Because your relationship with your loved one depends on it. When a caregiver tries to take care of all of the new responsibilities required of supporting someone living with brain change, it can be very difficult on the relationship. Identifying strengths and struggles will assist you in finding the right support for both you and the person living with brain change and can significantly help the relationship.
What caregiver support resources are available?
Finding resources both on the internet and in the community will be very important. Here are a few options to consider:
- Alzheimer’s Association of Georiga
- Georgia Department of Public Health
- Dementia Action Alliance
- In Home Care
- Day Care
- Private Duty
- Skilled Home Health
- Hospice Care
- Independent Living
- Continuing Care Retirement Community
- Assisted Living
- Assisted Living with specialized dementia support
- Skilled Nursing Facility
For Atlanta area residences, Orchard at Brookhaven is a resource that will provide education, consultation and family support.
How can I find local resources that will help me with this process?
Aging Care is a website that helps identify resources by state so you can find support locally.
Support options for caregivers
The first step in finding support is to recognize strengths as well as areas where support will be needed. The second step is understanding that reaching out and asking for support is actually a strength and will help both the caregiver and the person with brain change.
Check out care options. Here is a list of different options for care:
Act before a crisis happens
People living with dementia will go through several stages, because dementia is progressive, chronic and terminal. In all of the stages, the person will have definite strengths and abilities, and while these abilities do change and decline, there are always things that we can do to support the remaining abilities. If plans are not made before these changes occur, you will find yourself in a crisis.
Know your thresholds
Knowing your threshold; what you can tolerate and what you have trouble with will help you avert a crisis. If you know that you can support your loved one with daily routines, but helping them with daily care will be more difficult for you, then, it will be important to begin the process of finding good support before that time comes, therefore, when you need help, it will already be planned.
There are many things to think about when someone is experiencing brain change, being proactive will be a tremendous help.