By Wellmax Medical Centers
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Many of us know someone who has Alzheimer’s or someone who cares for a loved one with this brain disorder. It seems quite common these days since more than six million Americans are living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Almost 600,000 of them are living in Florida.
Caregiving for a sick family member can take a big emotional and physical toll. They’re always short on ‘me’ time because caring for their loved one takes up most of their daily time and effort. As the disease progresses, their loved one becomes more dependent on the caregiver and may need around-the-clock care.
But who’s taking care of the caregivers? How are they coping with the daily stress of dealing with someone who’s slowly losing their memory and thinking skills?
Alzheimer’s caregivers are more prone to higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Patient behaviors like inappropriate actions, wandering and even aggression can be emotionally draining to them as well. The daily challenge of taking care of a person with this disease greatly affects their self-care. Neglecting their own doctor appointments, eating poorly and not sleeping or resting well is common.
So how can family members help to avoid caregiver burnout? They can volunteer to help out with the patient for a few hours every week. They can take turns to help with doctor appointments, house cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping. They can pick up the patient’s medicines at the drugstore and prepare weekly pillboxes. They can take the caregiver to the movies, a park or the mall for a much-needed break.
It’s also important to visit often. This helps fight the isolation and stress of a caregiver’s daily routine. Encourage them to join a local Alzheimer’s support group and take them to a meeting. Showing that you care for their well-being can work wonders for their mental and emotional health.
Visit alz.org for Alzheimer’s help and support. Join us on Saturday, November 19 at Florida International University’s Riccardo Silva Stadium for Walk to End Alzheimer’s Miami presented by Wellmax Medical Centers and Pasteur Medical Centers. Register today at alz.org/Miami.
Wellmax Medical Centers Founded in 2003, Wellmax provides quality medical care from expert healthcare professionals who are dedicated to maximizing the well-being of seniors. WellMax operates medical centers and wellness centers across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Wellmax patients are offered a wide range of services for their primary care needs, from routine health examinations to the management of chronic conditions, all in one place.