Being a caregiver is never an easy feat. It’s a long term commitment that comes with watching someone you love age with a disease known to change the person you once knew, all while you juggle various roles and responsibilities to make sure your loved one is still being provided for. Some days, it feels as though the weight of the world is falling right on your shoulders.
We know your plate is full and that is why we’re here – to ease some of the burden for you and provide you with the tools, resources, and support needed to ensure both you and your loved one are living a life full of meaning and purpose. This is a journey you need not walk alone and, even during some of the hardest trials, there is still joy to be found in caregiving.
Let us help you find it.
Is the length of your to-do list adding more stress to your daily life? Does the thought of everything you have to get done the following day keep you from getting a good night’s rest, leaving you feeling run down and exhausted? Do you feel your life has become just one endless hamster wheel? If the answer is yes, then perhaps now is the perfect time to reach out for some help in your caregiver journey.
We understand – asking for help is often easier said than done. After all, no one knows your loved one the way you do, and no one has been through the trenches of dementia the way you have. It’s hard to hand the reigns over to someone else when it leaves you wondering whether you’re letting your loved one down in the long run (spoiler alert: you’re not!).
To some, being a caregiver means taking on all the jobs this role entails, even if it means struggling for space to breathe. But trust us when we say doing this will only earn you a one-way ticket to burnout town, and that won’t be good for anyone.
Please know that asking for help does not make you weak or incompetent. Asking for help makes you quite the opposite – it makes you someone who is strong and in tune with your mental and physical needs. It also means that you recognize how important it is to take care of yourself so that you can be the best caregiver you can be for your loved one. Think of what this fellow caregiver once said:
“Mostly, what has helped me and [my wife] is learning about myself and how I need to care for myself… That attitude has really made a change in how I take care of my wife.”
So, caregiver, if recruiting a few extra hands on deck is what you need to shift the tone of your day, take a little weight off your shoulders, and make caring for your loved one easier, then send out that call for help!
Maybe dinner was put on the back burner because you and your loved one had too much to get through for you to remember to defrost some meat. Time to order take-out! It’s okay if your loved one doesn’t get a home-cooked meal seven days a week. Instead, have some fun every once in a while with an at-home date featuring some of your favorite restaurant meals. The best part? Takeout means fewer dishes for you to clean and a chance to splurge on yourself now and again.
Do you have some shopping to do but know it would be more time- and energy-efficient if you could ride solo? Phone a friend or family member to come take advantage of some special one-on-one time with your loved one while you step out of the house. Not only will you get the chance to flex your independence and cross things off your to-do list, but your loved one will also get the invaluable opportunity to engage and connect with a fresh face. You can trust that your friends and family want to ensure your loved one is well provided for just as much as you do, so know that it is okay if they step in for an hour-long lunch date while you’re away.
Has the length of your to-do list gotten so long that you just know you’ll need a whole day to get through it all? Consider looking into an Adult Day Club like Oakwood Creative Care as a option for your loved one with dementia to spend the day. While you might just need one day to yourself, you might discover that your loved one enjoyed the Day Club experience so much that they want to go back so they can keep connecting with new friends! And what would this mean for you? Gaining a team of dementia experts to help care for your loved one so you can have even more opportunities to regain your independence and maybe even taking advantage of joining a caregiver support group!
So, caregiver, we know you are your loved one’s personal superhero (you’re ours, too!), but trust us when we say you don’t need to do it all by yourself. Even Batman had Robin. In reading this letter, we hope you find the reassurance you need to pick up the phone and dial in a little extra help from time to time, especially if you feel yourself on the verge of burnout. After all, caring for a loved one with dementia takes a village, and we know you have neighbors who so badly want to become a part of yours. Maybe now is the time to invite them in!
A Fellow Caregiver + Friends
We're Here For You
The impacts of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related issues affect the entire family. Oakwood Creative Care provides services, education, and support to help you ensure you never have to navigate through this journey alone.