Caring for a family member with dementia is perhaps the most challenging of all caregiver roles. It seems as if there is never a break. Your loved one can awaken and require assistance all hours of the day and night. Agitation can test even the most loving family member. Bathroom irregularities and wandering behavior only add to the challenges.
The first thing we emphasize to our patients and their families is that they are not alone—there is help available in the community.
Environmental modifications can often help. Playing music has been shown to calm for patients at meal times and throughout the day.
Using regular toilet times helps avoid unexpected bowel and bladder problems. These and other behavioral and environmental modifications are used in addition to medications to help make it easier to care for a person with dementia.
One of the most important things to remember for caregivers is that no one can do it alone. No one family member can take on all caregiving responsibilities without suffering deterioration in his or her own health. Multiple family members need to be involved.
In addition, there are a variety of community organizations that can serve as additional resources to help care for an individual with dementia. Listed below are a few of them.
While Mercyhealth does not endorse or have an affiliation with any of the organizations listed below, we encourage families to contact them to see if they can be of assistance.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their 24-hour help line can be reached at (800) 272-3900.
Family Alliance in Woodstock, IL, gives adults, caregivers and families programs and services that promote an enhanced quality of life. Call (815) 338-3590.
Crisis line: (800) 892-8900
Senior Services Associates serves more than 28,000 seniors, their families and caregivers annually. It has an office in McHenry, IL. Call (815) 344-3555 or (800) 339-3200.
W4051 County Road NN
Elkhorn, WI 53121