Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be more stressful than caring for people with other serious diseases.
That's because people with Alzheimer's disease often need care for decades, rather than a few months or years, says Mary Guerriero Austrom, PhD, an expert on caregivers and Alzheimer's disease at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
Assisted living is a type of housing for people, such as those with Alzheimer's disease, who need various levels of medical and personal care. Living spaces can be individual rooms, apartments, or shared quarters. The facilities generally provide a home-like setting and are physically designed to promote the residents' independence. Services are offered to assist residents with daily living.
If you think you're getting burned out, talk to a doctor, Austrom says. Your own doctor may be able to help, and so may the doctor who treats the person for whom you're acting as a caregiver.
Go Easy on Your Loved One and Yourself
Resist the urge to correct your loved one's behaviors or word choices, says Marsha Lewis, PhD. Lewis is dean of the School of Nursing at the University at Buffalo.
Try not to argue with people with Alzheimer's, even when you know their point of view isn't correct. Trying to be "right" takes time and adds needless stress to your life.
Also, don't try to be the perfect caregiver.
"Most healthy older adults, when asked about their preferences for care if they can no longer care for themselves, say 'I wouldn't want to be a burden on my children,'" Austrom says. Your parent, spouse, or other loved one likely wouldn't want you to wear yourself out. Know your limits and try not to push past them.