Caring For Caregivers
By: Michelle Remold
What about the caregiver? It seems like when people are having a conversation about Alzheimer’s or dementia, the focus is on the care of the person with the disease. But what about caring for the caregiver? It is clear to me that caregiving can be a very stressful, time-consuming, and sometimes a thankless job.
What about the emotional toll the disease takes on the caregiver? I often think about how hard it is to see someone you love be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and then to have to watch them slowly get worse to the point of not knowing you.
What about the physical toll the disease takes on the caregiver? Caregiving can be a 24/7 job. There is no down time for the caregiver. While there are services like respite or home health available to caregivers, they might not always be well-known or within reach.
What about the social toll the disease takes on the caregiver? Caregivers need social support from friends, family, and coworkers as well. Unfortunately, people seem to not be around as much or to shy away from those who are coping with the disease.
I think that sometimes caregivers can be overlooked. Caregivers need support and need to be ‘cared’ for as well. It might be just a meal made, a friend to talk to, or providing support where needed, but no matter what type of support it will be appreciated more than anyone can imagine.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.