Weariness Is a Constant Battle for Caregivers and People With Alzheimer’s
“And let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” — Galatians 6:9
Growing weary is the easiest thing in the world to do. It is especially easy for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Weariness is arguably the emotion that leads to giving up in the midst of battle, but please don’t drop out. Yes, Alzheimer’s disease is a formidable foe that, at this point in history, always wins, but fighting through the daily skirmishes will help you to live your best life with dementia. One day, there will be a cure, but until then, please don’t give in to weariness.
Don’t faint when diagnosed
If you received a difficult diagnosis regarding your cognitive health, don’t faint. Receiving bad news from a healthcare professional is never good, but remember, the only thing a diagnosis changes is awareness. Awareness is necessary for preparation.
You wouldn’t enter a physical battle without sufficient preparation and the right weapons to defeat an enemy. Diagnosis is the first step in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Once diagnosed, go about doing good — that is, the good that you can do for your cognitive health.
- Follow through with all healthcare appointments with primary physicians and specialists, and do what they recommend. Avoid denial.
- Take your medicine. If you weren’t prescribed medication, find out why. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medications are available to slow the progression and help with accompanying symptoms.
- Investigate local memory clinics and clinical trials that may be helpful in keeping the disease at bay.
- Include trusted family members and friends on the journey. Allow them to assist with locating resources.
- Vow to go the distance and receive assistance when it’s necessary.
Your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is an invaluable resource. If there isn’t a local chapter, call the national number for insight into the disease with which you’re grappling, so that you can live your best life in its present stage.
Don’t faint, caregivers
Maybe there’s someone out there who loves caregiving. I am convinced there’s not, but I’ve been wrong before. However, a good caregiver isn’t necessarily someone who loves the job, but someone who loves the person for whom they provide care. That’s my story, and I am sticking with it.
The work associated with caregiving can easily tempt us to faint away, but loving someone with the disease spurs us on. Then again, some people provide care out of obligation, or to keep a promise, and that’s a good enough reason, too. However, as a caregiver, you landed in the position, “Don’t faint in well-doing.”
The everyday caregiving tasks are wearisome, and the days are long, but faint not.
- Believe that your job is not in vain as you help your loved one through dark days. You both tread murky waters, but “treading” is the operative word, and you’re making it possible.
- Feeling weary in well-doing? All of us do at some time or another. Don’t go it alone. Ask for help from a trusted friend or loved one, or enlist an agency. The Dementia Map is a global resource directory to assist caregivers with locating help in their local communities. The Alzheimer’s Association is another great resource for caregivers.
- Use technology to your advantage. Caregiving is isolating. Of course, if you can get out and about, you should, but in the meantime, caring for a loved one at home is a bit easier than it was for our mothers and grandmothers. Grocery shop from home and have items delivered to your front door, and order supplies for your loved one online. You can even go to church online these days. Digitally connecting isn’t the same as connecting face to face, but it helps.
- Ask a devoted friend to be your sounding board, but be one for them as well. It’s easy to fall into a “woe is me” mode, but a mutually caring relationship is healthy.
- Stay on top of your own health. Get regular checkups, including dental, and seek professional help if the caregiving battle becomes overwhelming and you feel you can’t go on. Don’t confuse seeking help from a mental health professional as “fainting from good work.” Taking care of yourself as a primary caregiver is part of the good work you’re doing.
Finally, hold on to the second part of the Bible verse: “In due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
You will reap from the good you’re sowing, but in due season, so keep sowing good while you can. Each season brings trials and blessings for both the caregiver and the one for whom care is provided. Faint not!
Note: Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Alzheimer’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease.