Alzheimer's Awareness: 5 Very Real Struggles Family Caregivers Face - Page 2
Withdrawal from Friends and Family
Providing full time care for someone with Alzheimer's can take a dramatic toll on a person's social life and even on their home life. Caregivers may feel as though they don't want to burden non-caregiving friends or simply feel as if they do not have enough time to make room for healthy social interactions. Relationships with spouses and children can also take a hit as caregivers spend more time away from home visiting with doctors, filling prescriptions and administering medication, even shopping and preparing meals for the care-recipient.
Difficulty Coping During Holidays and Birthdays
Holidays, birthdays and other special occasions are frequently difficult for caregivers to cope with. There is an imbalance between nostalgia for the past and the difficulty of the present that may manifest itself in the form of exhaustion, isolation and sometimes distancing oneself from these occasions entirely.
In the case of a spouse with Alzheimer's, caregivers may experience difficulties with the absence of intimacy and closeness. Sex is often a way of finding comfort and connecting during times of stress, fear and grief, but caregivers may find it difficult to be intimate when their role is to provide full-time care for a spouse or may even feel guilty for initiating intimacy or seeking it outside of the marriage. This mix of emotions, fear and uncertainty can be incredibly overwhelming and sometimes destructive to a marriage.
Although the weight of caring for a loved one with dementia can be quite hard to bear, it is important for caregivers to remember that there is comfort in having a strong and stable support group, being well-educated, and rewarding themselves frequently with uninterrupted breaks.