Alzheimer’s caregivers often feel emotionally isolated as they struggle to face the challenges they encounter on a daily basis. Sue Shipper can’t remember exactly when she became isolated from everyone in her life as she took care of her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband, Robert.
Shipper’s story is very common among Alzheimer’s caregivers whose isolation becomes a cause of additional stress. Experts want Shipper and those facing similar situations to know that there are many resources to help with those feelings of loneliness and alienation.
Alzheimer’s caregivers often become so overwhelmed by their responsibilities and tasks that they forget how to take care of themselves. Many also do not know how to ask for help. The challenges they face are often confusing and new and many caregivers do not know how to put into words what they need. Family and friends also often don’t know how to reach out to caregivers.
The caregivers who do the best over time are those who reach out to family and friends and stay connected to people in their lives. If you are an Alzheimer’s caregiver, consider the following groups of people as resources to help you through the challenging situations that come with Alzheimer’s:
- Family and friends- Ask for company or help with routine tasks that don’t require knowledge of the disease
- Support groups- Other caregivers can provide insight, sympathy, and advice
- Professional counseling- Could come from a psychologist, social worker, therapist, or clergy member