While someone we know suffers from dementia, it is likely that, as a family member, we find ourselves taking on the role of caregiver in some capacities. In most cases, the caregiver of a person with dementia is a family member, typically a wife or husband. At some point, however, the responsibility of caregiving is too much for us to handle. Whether it’s time, money, stress, or physical ability, we have to begin considering options for who will care for our loved one next. This time is not an easy one for us. We are, once again, changing our lifestyle and trusting someone, that we might not know, to care for someone we love in their last stages of life. The transition from caregiver to family member is not an easy one, but there are things you can do to make the transition more smooth for everyone involved. In this article we’ll discuss how to better transition from caregiver to family member.
Transitioning Caregiving Role
It is likely that someone with dementia will be cared for by someone who has experience caring for people with dementia. It is important to remember that this is a shift in the way you are caring. You will not be completely removed from caring for the person you love. Your role may shift from daily hands-on chores to weekly backup duty, but you will still contribute as much as you can. Even if your loved one enters a nursing home, you will visit often, advocate for them with the staff, and bring treats.
Still Having A Commitment To Care
Especially if you are caring for a spouse, you must remember that it is okay to “pass the baton” to someone else in caring for your loved one. At some point, your role as family member will be more important than your role as caregiver and you want to use what little time you may have left to truly enjoy your loved one. It is important to consider a person’s needs and desires when they have dementia, and this is not always easy to do when you are in the mindset of a caregiver. There are unique perspectives that family members can offer when it comes to caring for someone with dementia.
How To Transition To A New Normal
Many people tend to isolate themselves when their time of caregiving is over. This is not a healthy practice and can lead to feelings of worthlessness. You are still a vital part of your loved ones lives. You are the best one to make decisions on their behalf that will benefit them the most. You play a crucial role in keeping their memories alive. Do not let your new “alone time” become a negative thing. Get out and enjoy your life so that you can appreciate your own healthy mind and body.
While caregiving for someone with dementia can be tough, so can stepping away from that role. There are many emotions that can come along with this change, ones we may not have been expecting. Orchard at Brookhaven is here to help you transition into your new role as family member and care for your loved one. If you are looking for a senior living community in Atlanta, please contact us to learn more or schedule a tour.