The act of taking care of someone who is unable to care for themselves either because of the aging process or illness, is not an easy task. Many family members take on this monumental effort without realizing the extensive toll that it can take on them and those around them. At-home, extended care and hospice caregivers are a special blend of compassion and professional knowledge.
Not every health care professional can manage long term caregiving. This being said, family members also shouldn’t be discouraged if they find it overwhelming. It takes a huge amount of patience to deal with someone in pain or suffering confusion from Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Seeking the help of professionals can allow loved ones to focus on savoring the interaction with their loved ones, and maintaining the positive feelings and emotions that are so critical to our family connections.
For more information on options for your loved ones and family, there is a treasure trove of resources available online. Many websites can aid in finding support in your area, such as Family Caregivers Online and Caregiver Action Network.
Many of these sites are offer peer networks and forums. It often helps to share your uncertainties, questions and concerns with others experiencing or who have experienced what you are going through.
As humans, our natural instinct can be to take on the responsibility of caring for our families, and that should always be honored. But seeking professional help is never a failure to care, but in fact can be a great assistance not only to the patient but to the family as well.
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