This question was posed on a support forum for people working with memory problems (family, professionals, anyone interested in memory issues and memory care). It’s not an uncommon question. In fact, many people who are close to someone with dementia worry that they are also showing signs of the degenerative syndrome. And it’s also known that people who care for someone with dementia tend to have more health risks and higher rates of depression – also risk factors for developing dementia. While depression, chronic lack of sleep, and stress can cause symptoms that can be mistaken for dementia, there are distinct differences. The takeaway: dementia is not only about memory loss!
Families who help care for a person with dementia are the unsung heroes in the global fight against dementia. They carry out the majority of care-related tasks, often unpaid, and often for several years.
If you know someone who is a carer, lend a helping hand! Start with 30 minutes of easy chatting, help them with laundry, offer to wash the dishes or to bring over dinner, clean out their car, or just let them know that they can call on you for support – ANYTHING will help 🙂 You can also read more tips in my post on Helping the Helpers.
As AARP says;
The unpaid contributions of family caregivers to the person being cared for and to society are huge. Yet the health risks and financial hardships that may accompany the caregiving role are substantial and well documented. Thus, there is strong interest in improving family caregivers’ experiences and outcomes, which may include helping to delay or prevent nursing home use or unnecessary hospitalizations of the care recipient.