Grimes sent The Caregiver’s Voice several questions about caring for a loved one with dementia for his upcoming reference handbook on Long Term Care (LTC) essentials for women suddenly finding themselves in a caregiving situation.
The Caregiver’s Voice thought the answers would be helpful to our readers.
DG: If you had five minutes to share quick thoughts with women who were about to become caregivers for older loved ones, what are three things would you want to share with them about caregiving in general?
TCV: Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s disease or illness so you know what to expect.
DG: … caregiving for someone with dementia?
TCV: Care for your loved one as you would like to be cared for IF you had his or her illness or disease. This goes beyond The Golden Rule.
DG: … how a caregiving situation can affect relationships with siblings (I read about your relationship with your siblings). My aunt has Alzheimer’s and her daughter has done everything for her mom while her male siblings don’t get in her way. Edited by TCV.
TCV: Caregiving can tear families apart. My brother lived in our father’s Wisconsin home and my sister lived five blocks away. Despite this, the Milwaukee County Department on Aging representative called me in California after she couldn’t reach my siblings after trying over several weeks. My husband and I moved my father into our California home.
Since 1997 I have not spoken with my sister and brother. This is sad as I’ve tried, but to no avail.
However, caring for a loved one can bring together families. I met two women who were caring for their mom. They took turns throughout the week. But what really touched me was they were two of eleven children who all stepped up to care for their mom. What an inspiration!