Many Alzheimer’s caregivers are deeply dedicated and feel like they can handle anything. Usually they are often so burned out they can’t even imagine how anyone could assist them. In addition, they may be reluctant to ask for help because they don’t want to impose and because they’re afraid people will refuse to help. Reaching out will help avoid getting burned out. We have put together some information on how to get the assistance the caregiver needs.
Caregiver burnout is unfortunately very common when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. You can alleviate that burnout with an offer to help. It doesn’t have to be much but it does need to be consistent. So if you really want to be of service, instead of just saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” you may need to volunteer for a specific task(s).
Here are a few ways to help –
- Help clean the house
- Take over a meal you’ve cooked
- Do the laundry
- Do the grocery shopping
- Pick up medicines from the pharmacy
- Volunteer to run other specific errands
- Mow the lawn and/or do other yard work
- Visit and just let the person talk about feelings
- Stay with the Alzheimer’s patient for a few hours so the caregiver can leave the house and do something enjoyable.
- Take the person with Alzheimer’s out for a drive
With a little thought you can certainly come up with additional ideas to help. The last two items listed are especially important because they will give the caregiver some badly-needed time alone to rest and recharge his/her batteries. But whatever you select, try to be specific and try to volunteer to do it on an ongoing basis.
If you would like more information on how you can help someone avoid getting caregiver burnout, this page has additional resources that will help.