Common Challenges Faced By Caregivers of Dementia Patients

Caregivers often find themselves needing to care for the elderly, which can be challenging by itself. Caring for the elderly, the disabled or even people with chronic illnesses can take a physical as well as a mental toll. But if you know what the common issues that you’re likely to face as a caregiver are, then you can prepare your mitigation strategies.

If you’re caring for someone who has dementia, these are the common issues that you’re likely to face:

  1. Burden That Is Both Subjective and Objective

Objective burden refers to the emotional and physical investment that a caregiver puts into caring for the patient. They will also have a lot of demands and responsibilities placed on then, which also falls in this category.

Subjective burden on the other hand is how the caregiver deals with the burden that’s placed on them. Caregivers of dementia patients need to be aware of these terms. This helps ensure that they can determine what kind and level of assistance they need.

  1. Psychological Effects

There are indeed psychological effects associated with caregiving as well. If you’re a full-time caregiving professional caring for a dementia patient, then this can take a psychological toll on you. Dementia is not just difficult on the patient, but also on the people caring for them.

As a caregiver, you could find yourself experiencing depression as well as anxiety. Understand that these are common experienced for those who work with dementia patients. If you feel yourself affected psychologically, then you should consider talking to someone. Vent out your feelings to a friend or family member, if you don’t want to opt for therapy.

  1. Socially Isolating

Taking care of a patient who has dementia can be time-consuming. This is why you could find it difficult to have a social life outside of your work. You’ll spend at least half of the day caring for your patient. Should you not take steps to avoid this, then it could contribute to the psychological toll of caregiving.

Talk to your agency about whether you can alternate with another caregiver, when it comes to caring for the dementia patient. On alternate days, you can take on work that is less demanding. This helps you to protect yourself while also doing your best at your job.

  1. Physical Toll

There are various health related issues that caregivers experience as well. They can experience stress as well as be at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases. You’re also at increased risk for diabetes, stomach ulcers, as well as insomnia.

  1. Communication Challenges

Dementia is a disease that is progressive. This is why there could be difficulties that are continued, when it comes to both communication as well as mobility. It’s important to note that people who have dementia don’t get better with time.

This is why, as a caregiver, you should learn about the behaviors you’re likely to deal with, as well as what you can do about them.

You should also consider caregiver insurance. This is as your career leaves you vulnerable to certain risks, such as getting sued by a patient. When you have caregiver insurance, then you can better protect your career as well as your finances.

  1. Moving Around

Dementia patients are known for wandering around, which is why you should be prepared for it. There are various causes behind what inspires dementia patients to move around. They could be looking for an item that is lost, or trying to avoid something in their vicinity. They could even be of the opinion that they are heading to work.

  1. Incontinence

In the later stages of dementia, it’s not uncommon for patients to suffer from incontinence. This is as the patient doesn’t remember what the urge related to emptying their bladder is like. They could also forget where the bathroom is, or how to take off their clothes before using it. As a result, they could end up soiling themselves.

  1. Experiencing Agitation

The patient feeling agitated is commonly reported by caregivers of dementia patients. This is as their brain is slowly losing its ability to solve problems or to deal with information that is new. As a result of this, they can experience stress and even anxiety.

  1. Talking Repetitively

With the decline of memory, the brain is unable to make memories that are new. As a result, the patient can end up telling the same stories again and again.

Conclusion

Caring for a patient with dementia can be challenging, but it’s also an important role that needs to be fulfilled. When you know what the common challenges you’re likely to encounter are, you can better deal with them. Use this guide to learn more about what these common challenges are.

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