Caregivers Should Stay Connected

Megan Ray  |  August 28, 2011

Women talkingAnne was faced with a difficult condition when her husband Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease three years ago, according to Catholic San Francisco. As it became more and more difficult for him to remember things and perform everyday tasks, he became dependent on Anne.

The news source notes that caregivers are not only at risk for personal health problems and career problems while giving Alzheimer's care, they can also become isolated due to the pressing nature of their responsibilities. This can put a strain on relationships and lead to depression.

Caregivers have to proactively reach out to family and friends. Even a weekly phone call can do wonders to help individuals stay engaged and connected. You may want to consider looking into assisted living facilities if the burden becomes too much to bear alone. These communities provide a safe and active environment for residents and can greatly reduce caregiver stress.'

In many cities and communities, there are support groups that meet weekly or monthly to discuss topics such as how to approach caregiving or deal with stress.

Those who don't have access to these in-person get togethers can find plenty of support online. Virtual online support groups allow men and women from all over the world to communicate with one another and connect on their experiences. 

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there are 5.4 million Americans living with the disease across the country. Almost 15 million friends and family members are looking after them. As baby boomers age, the organization expects a sharp incline in the number of Alzheimer's patients.