Beyond the Role as Carer

Today’s post comes from the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.

Finding Myself Beyond My Role as Caregiver

Caregiving can bring great rewards, but they come beside profound challenges. 


Guiding the life of someone with Alzheimer’s can create a particular kind of grief, which some call “ambiguous loss”. Someone we love is physically close but psychologically absent or different, leaving us with a complicated mix of emotions — often including great angst and guilt. It’s easy to become “stuck” in our grief, unable to get things done and isolated from friends and family.

As a caregiver, it’s important to reflect on the losses you’ve experienced, and to honor and recognize continued losses as the disease progresses. Life with Alzheimer’s is unclear, confusing and unpredictable: it can’t be cured or “fixed”, only managed.

What we CAN change is how we see the situation, to find hope and connect with a loved one as they are right now. But how? For a start, take care of the caregiver, too! Make time for you, ask for and accept help and don’t be too hard on yourself.

This month’s Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Beacon explores other ways  to navigate ambiguous loss and our own caregiving struggles. Learn more about how we can find ourselves, balance control with acceptance, manage our own mixed emotions, broaden our identities and imagine new hopes and dreams.

Sometimes the hardest things to change are our own heart and mind, but when we do, it may bring the greatest gifts.

Other Caregiver Resources

Webinar: Finding Myself Beyond My Role as Care Partner

Alzheimer’s disease/dementia is a disease of the brain – not of the spirit. And, despite the losses caused by dementia, there are still many opportunity to connect with your person. Join this Dementia Dialogue webinar via computer and learn a variety of practical strategies to stay engaged with your person and to continue to create memories for you.

For those who prefer to join by phone, we also offer an audio version of the Dementia Dialogues. Sign up here or email for details.

•    Wednesday, December 21st, 3-4 PM Eastern (12-1 PM Pacific, 1-2 PM Mountain, 2-3 PM Central)
•    Sign up now. Can’t make it to the live webinar?  Don’t worry!  Just register as if you will attend and we will send you a recording that you can view at your convenience.

Thank you again for being a part of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, and thank you for all you do to care for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Jessica Langbaum, PhD
Director, Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry
Principal Scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute


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