Click on the link above to read about one man’s journey from spousal caregiver to professional coach of those who are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
During my time of caregiving, (my father died in 2007 from complications relating to Alzheimer’s disease) I oftentimes sought out the advice of anyone I could get my hands on who might a) lighten the emotional load I was carrying; b) lead me in the right direction when looking for next steps in the caregiving process; and c) let me cry a river as I pondered whether I was doing enough for the one for whom I provided care.
Way back when I was enmeshed on my caregiving journey, I was not aware that this type of coaching service was available – perhaps it wasn’t. What speaks volumes to me is that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and other dementia is such that more and more people seem to be adrift and searching for that beacon of light that might pull them safely to shore.
One thing I know for sure, however, is that if it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes at least that when trying to take care of a cognitively challenged parent, spouse, sibling, partner, or friend.
The senior care industry is a dangerous maze wherein even the well-educated and well-intentioned providers of care fail to put any “care” in their caregiving. Whether at an assisted living facility or at home with private care, the path of least resistance is oftentimes the one taken and the accompanying attitudes reflect such feelings: “Man, I just gotta get over this shift! These people are driving me crazy!” “I know, I’ll just stick her in front of the TV while I catch up on my Facebook posts/soap operas.”
Don’t worry everyone – I’m not saying that there are NO ethical, compassionate caregivers, there definitely are – but attention must always be focused on those who don’t provide stellar care because the vulnerable amongst us are at the mercy of their care people. Those hidden in a private home are the most susceptible. Why? Because there are very few sets of eyes observing the day-to-day happenings. At a facility, the existence of ongoing traffic – family members, visiting ministries, long-term care ombudsmen/advocates – provides some sort of monitoring that a private home does not and can not provide.
The attached article – link above – is quite thorough. Please take the time to review it.