Nurse Jan Dougherty shares when an Alzheimer's caregiver may no longer be able to care for a person as the disease becomes progressively worse.
This whole idea of, “How long can I go the distance?” and “Am I a bad person if I have to place them?” is really a tough one and plagues most people. And we want to support families to do their best to care for someone in whatever situation it is that they can be most comfortable.
One of the things we have to dispel though, that if you have to place your loved one for whatever reason, it doesn’t make you a failure as a caregiver. In fact sometimes it’s the best thing you can do because if you are getting so tired and you’re feeling so angry and frustrated, guess what, so is this person.
So then I would ask, “Is home really a comfortable place to be?” And sometimes by finding an alternative location, it allows the caregiver to be better rested and they still are caregivers now advocating for the needs of their person living in maybe a nursing home, a group home, assisted living, whatever that might be but now they are better rested, they are better prepared and often times they see that their loved one is thriving.
They are happy again, and guess what, when they come in to visit, whether its once a week or every single day, they find that those moments are often better because now the physical demands that they care off and they can now focus on the relationship, and that can be good.
About Nurse Dougherty, R.N., M.S.:
Registered Nurse Jan Dougherty is the director of family and community services at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and has a master’s degree in gerontological nursing.
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