The Alzheimer's Disease Bookstore

Effective Ways to Manage Your Stress

by Jessica Arbour

When your loved one is diagnosed with a dementia-related illness, that can cause you, the potential full-time caregiver, to be in the midst of a new way of life with very little guidance given to you about how to prepare for providing 24 hour home care.

The details can be overwhelming. Each stage of the disease has its own set of challenges and differing levels of care. The emotional and psychological exhaustion in the early stages of Alzheimer's is then replaced with physical fatigue as your loved progresses with the disease. The statistics are staggering.

Despite all of the knowledge and research compiled, real changes involving healthcare reform to provide assistance, support and education for family caregivers hasn't been acted upon. Progress is slow while numbers in diagnosis and families struggling to care for their loved one continues to rise.

Listed here are the policy initiatives that the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) and family caregiver advocates developed and presented publicly at a NFCA's Town Hall Meeting on Capitol Hill in February of 2004. It states that in order for there to be long-term success in family care management certain needs must be addressed for the families. Among the most important theme addressed in the paper is that care providers must have affordable and high quality respite support. In addition, there must be some protection provided against the financial, physical and emotional risks that impact the quality of their well-being.

This includes the families ability to maintain their place in the workforce while still caring for their loved one. The majority of families struggling with providing home care is the someone must dutifully let go of their income. Along with that goes health insurance and retire benefits. The sacrifice is huge and it's long term effects on quality of life for the next generations carrying the burden of this care is going to be felt everywhere, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds.

One solution to meet the immediate needs of families and their caregivers is the emerging practice of Caregiver Coaching. It provides targeted support in creating effective strategies for using communication as a means of reducing emotional outbursts and behavioral problems associated with the early stages of Alzheimer's. With on going support, the community providing care has increased awareness of recognizing and managing caregiver's stress before "burn-out" starts to take it's toll.

If you are finding yourself or know of someone who is feeling depressed, overextended and at a loss of how to continue providing home care for a loved one living with Alzheimer's or Dementia contact me for more information about how support services can benefit you.

About the Author:

I assist family caregivers in formulating effective ways to communicate with and care for their loved one within a home-care environment who is afflicted with dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Stage 1 and 2 can be the most problematic and frustrating for everyone involved.
I offer free 30 minute Alzheimer's Adjustment Coaching conversations.
My experience as a Professional Alzheimer's Caregiver allows me to help you shape a tailored care plan and communication system that reduces agitation, confusion and common behavior problems associated with a dementia-related disease.

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