Caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be challenging. It’s normal to feel depressed, frustrated and tired when caregiving.
If you’re feeling this way, know you’re not alone. Learn what to look for and why it’s important for caregivers to also take care of themselves while caring for a spouse with dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, caregivers provide an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care to loved ones with dementia.
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.
This noble undertaking can stretch the caregiver’s limits and takes a significant toll, both emotionally and physically. Therefore, learning to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout are important.
When caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s or dementia, caregivers are commonly impacted by the following:
It’s important to recognize that these four areas of impact are interconnected. For instance, stress and depression can provoke health problems, and vice versa.
Working to mitigate negative impacts in one of these areas will be beneficial in other areas.
There are certainly positive aspects of caregiving too, such as the satisfaction we get from helping someone who we love very much, but it’s clear that family caregivers, particularly caregiving spouses, frequently sacrifice their own physical and mental wellbeing for their loved one.
When they try to do too much, or to do everything, they are inviting what the caregiving community calls “caregiver burnout.” Spousal caregivers should recognize that by taking care of themselves and keeping well, they will be better caregivers for their loved ones.
You can learn more about dementia in A Place For Mom’s Dementia Guide.