The health of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease will become worse the longer they have this disease. Although you may be more than willing to provide the care they need at the beginning, those feelings may quickly change as the elder’s condition gets worse. As a result, many family caregivers are turning to respite care to get the help their loved ones need, while also giving them a much needed break from caregiving.
Making the decision to use respite care is not one that many caregivers take lightly, but is often necessary. When this type of care is used, a professional home care provider will provide the care and assistance the elder needs on a daily basis.
If you are wondering whether or not this is the right option for you and the elder, here are some signs that respite care is necessary.
Increasingly becoming irritable. When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, the elder will most likely repeat their questions over and over, continuously forgetting the answer you gave them just a few minutes prior to being asked again. This could cause you to become easily agitated, resulting in snapping at your loved one.
Mistakes are being made. As a caregiver, it is imperative very few mistakes are being made. By giving the elder the wrong dosage of medications or giving it to them at the wrong time, their health could be compromised.
Impatience. Your loved one will need your help with a wide range of trivial tasks, including personal care, toileting, and household chores. If you are losing patience with the elder when they are in need of this level of care, it is time to have a professional in-home care provider take your place.
Depression. Caregiving can be mentally and physically draining, causing you to feel isolated from friends and family members. Becoming isolated can lead to depression, making it challenging to want to care for your elderly parent.
In need of some alone time. With the countless hours needed to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you may just need a break to take care of your own needs. You do not need to feel selfish for wanting a little “me” time. In fact, it is important to give yourself a little break in order to reenergize your mind and body.
Whether you are feeling mentally and physically drained or simply needs a break from caring for your loved one, respite care may be necessary. Think about these warning signs to see if this is an option you should consider for your loved one.