Geriatric Caregiving

July 29, 2009

by Dr. Novian

 

If you are caring for an elder in your family, you are probably asking yourself what to do.

How do you cope with the stress and chaos of caring for a dementia patient? How do you communicate and have a meaningful relationship with your father who has Alzheimer’s Disease? How do you grieve the loss of a family member who is still alive? Where do you turn to when your loved one is no longer safe at home? How do you juggle the responsibilities of your own daily life along with the responsibilities that come with a loved one who is no longer capable of taking care of themselves?

Caregiving is not something you can do on your own. The emotional and mental strain is too great. The statistics (according to the Alzheimer’s Association) say that 60% of caregivers who do not seek help from an outside source get worn down and die before the dementia patient for whom they are caring. That is inexcusable. I am happy to say that this statistic CAN be avoided. The answer is to find a support system, learn how to cope with and manage your stress, and seek guidance from Geriatric health care specialist. I count myself among the most knowledgeable about the mental health of caregivers in San Antonio. I spent almost a decade working with caregivers, I have built a relationship with the various care providers in the city, and I even wrote my dissertation about spousal caregivers and the effect that spirituality has on their experience. Whether you recognize a higher power or not, I know I can help make your experience better, your stress easier to manage. I can guide you through the paths you must take to ensure your loved one’s safety and your own mental and emotional health.

Take care of yourself. It is not selfish to do so. It is good, right, and necessary.

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