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Wooden Hut

When someone you love has dementia...

You're losing them a little bit every day.

The diagnosis has been confirmed.  Now what?  There is a rush trying to troubleshoot what's next, and it can feel like a flood.  Where do they live?  Who provides care?  What are they eating?  How much oversite do they need?  Who can visit when?  How do we afford their care?  Do they have advanced planning?  You begin juggling their care needs and logistics and various schedules of visits from family members and various doctors appointments, bill payments and medications, answering their many questions and hearing things on repeat.  You love them and patience wears thin some days.  And then there are so many unknowns, what is going to be different in them tomorrow?  How are they going to respond to me today?  Just how long do we actually have with them?

Providing care has added an additional full-time job to your already full plate.  Family dynamics start to bubble to the surface, all of the roles in the family have been tossed in the air, and sometimes old patterns of behavior pop up.  You're struggling with your own role and identity as well.  It's heartbreaking and stressful, with so many moving parts and pieces, meanwhile you just want your loved one to be "back to who they were".  You want to be supportive of your loved one, but you also don't know what to do and feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and at a loss.

Does this sound familiar to your situation?

Phew, it's a lot!

When dementia(s) are present, there is the existence of both ambiguous grief - grieving someone who is still alive, as well as anticipatory grief - because you know that death is going to come.  In addition, there are often many secondary losses being experienced as well.  You are watching your loved one change and grieving each change along with them.  While also trying to provide the best care you can, and tending to your own life which has shifted drastically.

It is certainly a very stressful and overwhelming process.

One of the best and hardest things we can do while being their caregiver is to also make sure we are caring for ourselves.  This includes taking some time to get some support.  

I hear you and see you, Caregiver.  Your burnout is real.  Your grief is undeniable.  And you are doing the best you can!

Having both personal and professional experience in the field of Alzheimer's and dementia, I can relate directly to the experiences you have and can help you in the roller coaster you are experiencing. Call or email today, you are deserving of support.

Some additional resources:

The Alzheimer's Association

My Directives

The Conversation Project

Hospice Foundation of America

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