Your loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc. Words you are never prepared to hear. The next decision you are never prepared for, who will take care of them?
Whether you take over as primary caregiver for your spouse or your parent, there is no manual to prepare you for the fear, overwhelm, guilt, exhaustion, anger, or loss of your own life as you once knew it.
You might find yourself going down a rabbit hole researching what being a caregiver will actually entail. The truth is, there is no amount of research or advice that could totally prepare you for the ups and downs your future will hold. You are about to embark on a very personal journey, and you have to decide whether you are going to just survive or thrive.
Although caregiving comes with many positive experiences, 40-70% of family caregivers report symptoms of depression. Researchers have found that a person who provides care for someone with dementia is twice as likely to suffer from caregiver depression as other caregivers. Not only do dementia caregivers spend significantly more hours per week providing care, they report more problems in many areas from work to personal life and health.
The good news is, caregivers who receive regular support by attending support groups, and/or individual counseling report a significant improvement in their overall wellbeing.
I specialize in working with both caregivers and individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia. I understand from each perspective how the disease can impact not just the individual, but the entire family.
Taking care of a loved one with dementia can certainly have its ups and downs. I have an extensive amount of understanding regarding the disease(s) and how it impairs not just the memory, but behavior, mood, language skills, and a variety of others problems. I can provide psychoeducation and behavior management tips to help make your job less stressful and more meaningful. I also provide a safe place for you to vent, cry, celebrate, grieve, or whatever it is you need!
Being a caregiver for your loved one is a selfless job, and I want to help you do it more effectively by providing the support you need. Please contact me today for a free consultation to see how you could benefit from therapy.
By Renee Lorch, MA, AMFT