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Caregivers … It’s OK to Trust Your Gut and Honor Your Feelings

In March 2020, the entire world began talking about safety. Safe distances, safe activities and safety protocols were daily worries. And if you’ve been caring for a loved one with dementia over the last year, you had to learn about the science of COVID-19, on top of all the “normal” safety concerns that already exist in the world of someone who has dementia.

It’s OK to Not Be OK

Caring for a loved one was challenging before the pandemic, and it has only been made worse over the last year. The role of caregiver for a loved can be a great honor and a beautiful experience. But even under the best circumstances, it is normal to feel anger and resentment. This can happen for many reasons, including:

  • You are overwhelmed emotionally. As a caregiver, keeping a loved one safe also means being the “bad guy” who receives the most anger in return when your loved one can’t control the changes in their mood or communicate their feelings.
  • You are in a new role. Going from being a child to a caregiver or from being a spouse to feeling like a nurse can cause resentment for the life and relationships you’re losing. You may also be mourning the sacrifices you had to make to be the caregiver, or the new burdens financial or otherwise, it has placed on your life.
  • You are feeling just as isolated as your loved ones. Fewer resources, less family available to help and the inability to go to public places have made it extremely hard for caregivers to take a break.
    Yes, it’s normal. Perfectly normal to not be OK. If you realize that you are in a difficult position and you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Find Your Support System! 

They say, ‘It Takes a Village’ and it’s true for both raising children and caring for loved ones. It is nearly impossible to do so completely on your own. You can find support by:

  • Finding a safe outlet for your feelings. Join a caregiver support group and talk to people who are or have been in your shoes. With many virtual options available, finding a peer group who “gets you” is easier than ever. Joining a support group can help you better understand the emotions you’re experiencing and give you tools to better manage them in the future.
  • Researching and planning for the future. Be prepared for the possibility that your loved one may need more care than you are able to provide on your own. As dementia progresses and your loved one’s needs change, the amount of caregiving needed is more than most can do on their own. When caregiving becomes all-consuming, is jeopardizing your health, or the well-being of your family at home, memory care is a must. Respect your instincts. If you think it’s time for your loved one to move into a memory care community, trust your gut.

At Artis Senior Living, we know the journey with dementia can be a long and difficult one. No matter where you are in your journey, we want to provide you and your loved one with the support you both need. Whether you are building your support system, or you already know it’s time for more help, Artis Senior Living Is Your Partner in Memory Care.

Contact us to find out how Artis can help you on the journey through dementia.

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