Today’s MSNBC report on a study finding spouses of those with dementia are at an increased risk of getting dementia is a wake-up call to all caregivers.
Those who endure the stress of caregiving day-to-day find themselves experiencing the very same symptoms of their loved ones–disorientation, forgetfulness, and depression.
There’s a name for this when you’re a caregiver: Caregiver Dementia. The stress gets to be too great and the mind does not function normally. I know, I’ve experienced this as has my husband. After getting too little sleep while trying to keep up with my father’s care, we thought we were getting Alzheimer’s! You’ll find the story in “Where’s my shoes?” My Father’s Walk through Alzheimer’s.
Caregivers need to take time for themselves. Whether it’s a five-minute break or a one-week escape, the time away will ensure caregivers replenish reserves in order to go on.
The risks are high for caregivers who don’t heed the advice of experts to step away to regain strength in order to continue caring for a loved one.
Researchers in Utah followed 1,221 couples for twelve years and found a six-fold increased risk to spouses of people with dementia. Interestingly, male spouses experienced a 12-fold risk of developing dementia and even Alzhemer’s; whereas women experienced a 4-fold risk
Read the complete article here: SPOUSAL DEMENTIA RISK [Updated 10/19/2017: Link no longer available]
Brenda Avadian, MA
Editor, The Caregiver’s Voice Blog