+ A

Homewatch CareGivers Care Community

To learn more about in-home care for all ages, contact us today. 

“Sometimes having to accept help is harder than giving it.”

For the worn out family caregivers reading this, there might be head shaking in response to this statement; others might be nodding in agreement. The truth is, it’s more common for people to say no, they are fine, thank you very much, and don’t need any extra help…except for you to take them to the doctor next Tuesday, pick up a few essentials from the grocery store on your way home from work, and much more. Yet if you were to suggest they need help, maybe even hiring someone to assist them around the house, they are likely to say they don’t need any help.

Just the word “help” can offend some people, even if the suggestion is for a familiar and trustworthy loved one to pitch in. Once people have gotten used to living independently, it can be very challenging—and humbling—to ask for and accept assistance with their daily activities.

Who’s In the Driver’s Seat?

When a loved one begins to struggle with living independently either because of age or illness, it can be tempting to rush in and do things for them, or tell them what they need. Before acting on that impulse, hit pause.

Even if your loved one is your same-age spouse or your much older-than-you parent, it is still their life. The best approach is to ensure this person that they are very much in the driver’s seat and you are not taking over to dictate what is best. No one wants to feel like their life has been taken from them, even if done so in a well-meaning effort.

Rather than becoming a caregiver, think about being a care partner so that you are both engaged in this new relationship dynamic.

Listen, Don’t Tell

Assuming your loved one is well enough to communicate with you, start a conversation about the future. Rather than just telling them that what you think they need, begin with a question asking for their thoughts, feelings or opinions. There are a few prompts in this guide.

The goal should be to create plans based on their preferences or to have “person-directed care” that is rooted in their individual likes and dislikes. While limitations might exist or develop, when possible this is a good place to start so that they get the assistance needed rather than clam up.

It might be better if the message doesn’t come from you even so involve a health care provider who can make suggestions from a position of authority.

A person’s ability to process and accept some information may depend on their current well-being; for some people living with dementia, the illness can make it a challenge for them to comprehend, much less accept these messages regardless of the source or tactic.

Even if someone cannot articulate that they feel embarrassed or afraid because they need help, keep in mind that it’s likely they do feel this way and therefore be sensitive and gentle as you help them make adjustments to live a supported independent life.

As difficult as it might be to have these conversations or even to find the resources to be a family caregiver, keep in mind that there is some degree of difficulty for the person you are helping.

Whatever the situation today, care needs will change over time as well-being fluctuates so know that there will be on-going discussion and adjustments for both caregiver and care receiver. 

To learn more about in-home care for all ages, contact us today. 

< BACK TO TOPIC PAGE

Join the conversation

Love this.

My husband cannot do much physical exercise but he loves working jigsaw puzzles which are good for hand-eye coordination as well as using your mind to put the puzzle pieces together.

I've been blessed with a good memory...I know it is genetic because I have read about my gggrandfather and his memory of when he came to the west from Virginia/Kentucky. However, several months ago I was under terrible stress because of my husband's health. We went to a defensive driving class and all of a sudden I saw blue and then a deep pink. The words on my workbook all moved to the right in a column. Some letters were piled on top of each other...after we left I was unable to read the paper because words looked lilke overstriking (as in typing). It took several months to clear up. I hope I do not go through this again!

Can you site the research on positive attitude? Also are there any studies that link chemotherapy to dementia/Alzheimer's? Thanks

Hello There, I'm interested in what you are doing. I work for a memory care company and I want to do everything that I can for my residents, staff and people that I come in contact with.

fyi

I think my newest medication is causing me to want to give up. I have been diagnosed with dementia. I am 78 years old. I have lived my life. Then I feel guilty for not wanting to not go on. The medication is Donepzil. I would appreciate your opinion. I have a pain specialist. Next week I see my family physician.

My 88 year old mother has short term memory issues and has just started taking Donepzil. What is your opinion of this medication?

Many of these are doable for me. The one I have problems with is the positive thinking. I feel so beat down and frustrated with my life. Where do you turn for help?

I am thinking my husband has early onset dementia. What can I do. We have visited with several doctors. The endocrinologist says its cortisol deficiency. He is taking tablets for it. We are seeing his primary doctor tomorrow. What do I ask him?

Doctors now seem to be giving out pills to reduce blood pressure, but when the blood pressure is too low, the brain suffers a lack of nourishment and oxygen.....this is causing memory loss, especially short term memory loss in many elderly patients.....Can anyone correlate low blood pressure with memory loss? This also is causing problems with the eyes .....

There is a correlation between low blood pressure and short term memory loss.....the brain needs nourishment and oxygen .....Doctors now give meds that lower blood pressure too low....and the result is memory loss....please check this correlation.....

There is a correlation between low blood pressure and short term memory loss....the brain need some nourishment and oxygen.....the doctors now are giving meds that lower the pressure too low.....causing memory loss.

This article makes infers that if you get dementia, its your fault for not doing the right things for preventing it. This is a horrible message to people who have dementia, and a false promise to those who dont. Please dontae the money you spent on this proaganda and send it to the Altheimers association.