If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make is when to entrust their care to someone else. This can be a painful and emotional process for any family, as you want to ensure your loved one receives the best care possible. However, it’s important to remember that at a certain point, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can become a full-time job, and it may be too overwhelming for family members to handle on their own.

Factors To Consider

One thing to consider is your own health and well-being. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be extremely challenging:

Burnout

Burnout is common among family caregivers, and it’s important to recognize the signs of exhaustion and take action before it reaches a breaking point. If you find yourself neglecting your own needs or becoming increasingly irritable, it may be time to seek outside help.

Safety & Quality of Care

Another factor to consider is the safety and quality of care that your loved one is receiving. Alzheimer’s can cause a decline in cognitive abilities, leading to a higher risk of falls, injuries, and accidents. Additionally, as the disease progresses, your loved one may require specialized care and attention that you may not be able to provide on your own.

Guilt

A common and often understandable emotion for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a sense of guilt or shame when taking time away for their own needs. It’s important to recognize that this emotion stems from a caring place, but it’s also misguided and undeserved. Research has shown that caregivers who prioritize their own well-being and take time for themselves are actually better equipped to provide quality care for their loved ones. This includes attending their own doctor’s appointments, engaging in social activities, and taking time to relax.

Ultimately, the decision to entrust your loved one’s care to someone else is a deeply personal one that should be made after carefully weighing all the factors. It may be helpful to consult with healthcare professionals, support groups, or other families who have gone through the same process. Remember, choosing to seek outside help is not a sign of weakness but rather a brave and responsible decision for the well-being of both you and your loved one.

Not ready yet?

If you’re not yet ready to take the leap and physically separate from your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, there are still options available to provide some relief for both you and your loved one. 

Senior care program

One possibility is to enroll your loved one in a senior care program for a daily activity. Senior care facilities offer a range of engaging activities for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, such as music therapy, art therapy, and physical exercise.

In addition to engaging activities, senior care facilities also provide a structured and safe environment for your loved one, with trained staff members who are experts in Alzheimer’s care and understand how to ensure the safety and well-being of those with the disease. By entrusting your loved one to a senior care program, you can rest assured that they will receive high-quality care while giving yourself some much-needed time to recharge and focus on your own well-being.

Temporary Stays

If enrolling your loved one in a senior care program is not yet an option you’re ready for, another alternative is to opt for a weekend temporary stay within the premises of a memory care facility. These stays can provide a much-needed respite for family caregivers who may be experiencing physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion from full-time care.

During a temporary stay, your loved one will be cared for by trained staff members who specialize in Alzheimer’s care. They will provide your loved one with engaging activities, structured routines, and a safe environment.

It’s important to remember that temporary stays in senior care programs do not have to be a permanent solution. They can serve as a trial run to see how your loved one responds to a new environment and can provide a valuable source of respite care for you. Whether you enroll your loved one on a regular basis or just for occasional temporary stays, senior care programs can be a beneficial option for both you and your loved one. Don’t be afraid to explore this option, as it can ultimately improve the quality of life for both of you.