DETROIT (WWJ) – A seminar focusing on Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers Thursday at Schoolcraft College in Livonia.
With over five and half million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia each year — the number of those affected grows exponentially — as more often than not a family member becomes caregiver — in what can be an increasingly stressful situation.
The first thing, she says, is to acknowledge that your life with that significant other or relative has changed. “We’re the ones who have to change because their brain is changing – so we’ve got to look at things differently – think differently — we’d be willing to try things we would never have thought to try before – be willing to let go and give up on things that aren’t working.”
And she says it’s important to ask, do you still like the person?
“Because if you can’t find something you still enjoy about being with this new person – that’s living now in your house and you are doing things for 24/7. We better figure out how to get you to a like place because humans can’t survive without things they like,” says Snow.
She says it’s vital that the caregiver make time for taking care of themselves. “You get really risky, for yourself and the person you care about – neglect, abuse, self-abuse, self-neglect. I start not taking care of myself, because I just have to make it through another day. So, caregivers let themselves get into a deep cycle — depression, anxiety.”
For more information about the disease and support materials for Caregivers — check out the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.