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Entrusting the care of a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease to someone else – even for a short respite break – can be difficult. After all, as a spouse, partner, child or grandchild, the primary caregiver likely has a strong, personal connection to the person and a deep desire to ensure that care is of the highest quality. Even so, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive one that, over time, can prove very difficult for a single caregiver to manage. The disease takes its toll not only on the person diagnosed with it, but loved ones who step in to provide often around-the-clock care.

Seeking out assistance as a caregiver is not a sign of weakness, nor is it an indication of abandonment. Caregivers in the earlier stages need breaks to recharge. As the disease progresses, the required level of care may simply demand skilled assistance a loved one is not able to provide.

Here are a few signs that indicate it is time to seek assistance in caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease, even for short respites:

  • Backlog of personal issues that must be attended to – Caregivers often put their lives on hold to help out those they love. While this is a tremendous sign of love and compassion, it can take a toll on a career, a family and life in general. When personal concerns are left unattended too long, stress is likely to arise. Assistance that may help alleviate the pressure includes in-home aides, specialized adult daycare, rotating schedules with other loved ones to provide care or long-term specialized care placement.
  • Feelings of exhaustion, resentment or loss of patience – Caregivers need to care for themselves, too. If pent-up frustrations are getting in the way of providing quality care, in-home aides, long-term care options and other forms of assistance may provide the necessary support to ensure the caregiver is cared for and the loved one is, too.
  • Increased care demands – Alzheimer’s disease is progressive by nature. As the disease progresses so will the related care demands. When this occurs, seeking out skilled help can ensure the demands don’t become too much for the caregiver and that a loved one is properly cared for.

Taking care of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease is a tremendous way to show love, compassion and dedication toward a person who means so much. Getting help when it is truly needed also demonstrates these same qualities while ensuring a loved one receives the very best in care.