Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Caregiver and Isolation

When caring for your Alzheimer's patient it is very easy to let go of your former life,
given the many responsibilities you are juggling.

Shutting yourself away might seem like the best thing to do as your loved one disease progresses and requires more care and attention.
It is common among caregivers exposed to stress to isolate themselves.

But isolating yourself is not good, your mental and physical health suffers.
Interacting with others helps you to see things differently and find solutions to your problems much more easily.
Your problems can seem worse if you don't have anyone to discuss them with.

Stay in touch with family and friends and make friends with other Alzheimer's caregivers and especially former caregivers who have traveled that road before.
If someone offers to help don't say no and don't be shy about asking for help when your responsibilities seems overwhelming.

Why won't you accept help offered? Are you self conscious or perhaps ashamed of your loved ones condition?
As you interact with other caregivers you will find out that what seems strange to you is a norm for Alzheimer's patients.

So if you have been isolating yourself its time to change that, because it has long term effects.
When you have lived in isolation while taking care of your loved one, after they would have passed away you continue to live that way because it has become the norm for you.
It takes Herculean effort to break out of that pattern, so stay connected. its the best thing you can do for yourself.

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