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Caregivers are often seen as the unspoken heroes of our world. Putting life aside to care for your aging loved one around the clock is no small feat.

The stress of caring for a loved one can become overwhelming, and very quickly. Particularly for full-time caregivers, there are no breaks in the day; no holidays; and, of course, no compensation. Caregiver burnout, in fact, is a very real condition; it’s caused by mental and physical exhaustion, fatigue, and the profound demands that caregiving brings.

Though often a labor of love, the job of caregiving is also a labor of necessity. It usually comes with little warning, and no preparation; and, especially for caregivers of those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, the challenges are even greater.

It can be traumatic watching your loved one slowly forgetting minor things, losing cherished memories, or not recognizing friends and family.

Unfortunately, older-age dementia is all too common: according to a 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25% of caregivers for adults over the age of 50 are caring for someone with dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment.

However, studies have also shown that learning about the underlying causes of dementia helps caregivers know what signs to look for upon the onset of the illness. Early detection can ensure that loved ones with dementia receive the proper care that they need.

IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP

Eventually, you may find that it becomes too much to handle on your own – and that’s okay! Caregiving for an individual with dementia can be extremely taxing, and it’s normal to want and need help; especially if you’ve been doing it for a while.

It may be time to consider alternative options.

A more extensive situation like assisted living, for example, maybe a better option for you and your family: around-the-clock care to ensure that your loved one is monitored and attended to as often as they need. But there are many courses of action for you as a caregiver to explore! And Eldercare Connections is here to guide you through those very options. We know there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for any caregiver, which is why we offer individualized and detailed care plans for clients.