Recognize the right moment to talk to the family caregiver about getting help
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Recognize the right moment to talk to the family caregiver about getting help

Recognize the right moment to talk to the family caregiver about getting help

More and more families are turning to a professional caregiver or home care services for the elderly or Alzheimer's to help a family caregiver, whether at home or at a family member’s home.

However, and this is understandable considering the emotional connection that very often unites the family caregiver with the person suffering, many family caregivers wait to be on the brink of exhaustion before asking for help.

Thus, it is very often the responsibility of other family members to sound the alarm and "take care" of the family caregiver; in short, to care for the caregiver!
Let's take a closer look ...

Some warning signs that the family caregiver needs help

So, family members, if you detect many of these behaviors or warning signs with your family caregiver, then he or she is not on the right track and it's time to call for additional help at home, whether professional or from family.

Degradation of the quality of relational life

  • almost no more release time
  • neglect of previous natural, friendly, associative or formal ties
  • decreased time with friends and family
  • neglect or decreased contact with the rest of the family or friends
  • no respite time for yourself in the day
  • no special corner to oneself in the house
  • constant worry about what the patient is doing out of supervision
  • no more vacation planning (trips, weekends, relaxing hours, etc.)
  • constantly oriented towards care or help, at all times

Difficulty in distinguishing between what can be done and what is too much

  • no exchanges with care professionals to get advices and opinions favoring better care
  • unable to "delegate" the care part to prioritize the emotional and communicative part which should be the priority of the family caregiver
  • unable to distinguish between the care, the emotional sharing, and the moral obligation to do
  • unable to share information with family and friends, to step back and see what could be delegated

Pushing one's limits beyond one's strengths

  • do not recognize his own limits and do not accept them
  • always want to do more, unable to pass the hand
  • thinking to know how to do everything and be irreproachable in the care (the link and the affection are more important to preserve than their role of family caregiver who can be relayed by a professional caregiver)
  • unable to talk to his own health problems to his doctor
  • refusal to use specialized retirement home services or those of professional caregivers

No time left for the pleasures of life

  • no time for oneself, for one's pleasure, without guilt
  • no intimacy in the house, no space for oneself, without the suffering person
  • no personal activity without the suffering person
  • neglect or lack of quality of life for oneself, full priority given to caring for the person suffering at the expense of the essential

Validation of the state of stress of the family caregiver

It may be disturbing to see the quality of life or even the health of a family caregiver decline, but the help of a competent professional caregiver can make all the difference.

It is the responsibility of friends and other family members to be aware of the family caregiver's situation and, where appropriate, to find information on the services available for home care and assistance. They will have to make a decision to get help at home because taking care of a sick elderly person can have a significant impact on the quality of life of the family caregivers, and possibly on their health.

Home help includes supervision and personal care (bathing aid, hygiene, meals at home, etc.) but also nursing and many other specialized care.

Do not hesitate to use a professional caregiver, especially if the elderly person requires specialized care or regular treatments in a hospital.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has produced a small scoreboard of stress levels for caregivers serving a person with Alzheimer's disease, but it is also a very good general indicator of the level of stress for any caregiver , whatever his situation.

If the caregiver answered "sometimes" or "often" to several questions, then he or she may need help taking care of him or her. 

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