May 13, 2022

caregiver hugging senior man

These common excuses that Alzheimer’s caregivers make that keep them from accepting help can lead to burnout.

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

We all know that no single person is an island, something that especially rings true when caring for a person with dementia. Nevertheless many family caregivers falter when it comes to accepting or asking for the help they need. Because of this, stress is exacerbated as there’s little or no time for self-care – a vital feature for anybody in a caregiving role.

Why are we often so resolved to address such an extraordinary undertaking independently? The following are several common reasons and why we need to rethink them:

  1. I’m doing just fine on my own; I do not need a break. To put it simply, science disagrees! A study shared in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that a specific stress hormone was depleted in caregivers whose stress was chronic and prolonged – such as in providing dementia care independently – while those who engaged just two days per week of respite care realized an increase in the hormone as well as a brighter outlook and elevated mood.
  2. Mom would never want another person taking care of her. Most of us would resist if we were told that someone was coming over to give us a bath. But having someone come and assist with meals and housework is a great strategy to introduce a new caregiver, working your way up to additional necessary services once the caregiver is known and accepted. The phrasing you utilize can make a significant difference as well. Having a “salon day” sounds far more inviting, for instance.
  3. No one else could take care of Mom like I will. While you are most certainly not replaceable, the objective of enlisting help is certainly not replacement, but respite. A loved one with Alzheimer’s can benefit through the socialization provided by someone besides yourself, while you gain the benefit of a much-needed break – ultimately allowing you to provide better care to the senior when you return.
  4. It’s too difficult to try to find a caregiver I will be able to trust. At Continuum, we background check and professionally train each one of our caregivers, verifying key character traits such as reliability, kindness, flexibility, and much more. Continuum, a trusted provider of senior home care in St. Charles and nearby areas, is insured and bonded, for your additional peace of mind. We also carefully match each senior together with the ideal caregiver who will be most compatible. Finally, if an older adult’s primary caregiver is on vacation or ill, we will provide an equally qualified replacement caregiver.

If you’d like to explore in-home respite care for someone you love with Alzheimer’s, connect with Continuum. Our comprehensively trained, experienced, creative, and compassionate caregivers are here to help you minimize stress, improve life for the senior you love, and provide you with the opportunity for self-care. Reach out to us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to get started!