Are you caring for a spouse, parent, or sibling with dementia? I know how hard it can be and the emotional toll it can take. I dealt with dementia personally when my grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and I also deal with dementia every day when caring for my patients and their family members. Oftentimes, the medical community does not give caregivers the information and proper level of support they need to care for their family member. That’s where I can help.
Healthy Mind Sacramento dementia caregiver therapy
As dementia progresses, it can change a person’s fundamental personality. They may behave in ways that are uncharacteristic for them. It’s important to understand that it’s the dementia talking when that happens. Here are some of the most common concerns I hear from dementia caregivers:
- He accuses me of talking his money, or stealing other things around the house. I can’t believe he would think that! It’s so hurtful to me!
- She talks to people that aren’t really there. I don’t know what to do. I tell her no one is there, and then we get into an argument. Am I just making her more upset?
- He doesn’t want to bathe much anymore, or take his medications. How can I get him to do these things?
- He wakes up in the middle of the night confused, and thinks he is still working and gets dressed to go to work at 2am! Or, he will get dressed for church in the middle of the night!
- She doesn’t understand what is present day and what is the past. She talks about things from the past as if they are going on now. Should I correct her?
- He has become aggressive (verbally or physically). What do I do about this? Am I still safe?
- I do not know how to communicate with her anymore. Is there any way we can still connect?
These are common issues than arise when a person has dementia. Please trust me, there are ways to deal with them. Often in just a few sessions we can go over the key issues that you are struggling with and start to implement solutions! However, if you think you may be experiencing burnout, read on…
I feel so burnt out and have no time for myself
Caregiver burnout sucks. You want to be there for your family member, but you are tired and you are at wit’s end. Here are some signs you may be experiencing burnout:
- you don’t feel like caring for your family member, or yourself, anymore
- you are not really interested in anything
- you are not consistently giving your family member his/her medications
- you may not be taking your family member to his/her appointments
- you are tired all the time
- you have taken many days off work
- you do not make time for exercise or for your own medical appointments
- your sleep is poor
- you feel trapped
- you wish you could unload your family member somewhere else, or with someone else, then feel horribly guilty you thought that
If you have some of the above symptoms going on, you probably are experiencing burnout. The best remedy for burnout is to stop beating yourself up, improve your self-care, and learn some coping techniques. I work with caregivers experiencing burnout to help do both these things. Reach out to me to schedule an appointment if you are interested in learning how to move past your burnout to experience a happier you!