In the days and weeks after a loved one moves to memory care, it’s common to feel a sense of guilt or even that perhaps you have failed them in some way by not being able to care for them yourself. Even though rationally you know that their quality of life and yours, both emotionally and physically will be better with the peace of mind and specialized support memory care provides, it can be hard to overcome these emotions.
You still have a vital and active role in your loved one’s care and life, now as a daughter, son, friend, sibling or spouse again instead of a caregiver.
Support your loved one not only by visiting them and keeping in close contact with the community; you can also continue to educate yourself on Alzheimer’s and dementia to be even more empowered and confident in planning for their future with resources that include:
- Alzheimer’s Association - Alz.org
- Family Caregiver Alliance - Caregiver.org
- Family Support Groups - online or in-person
Although you’re no longer a full-time caregiver, supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s in any capacity can take its toll emotionally and even physically. It’s vital to take care of yourself. Not only for your own well-being, but it can also help you better support your loved one.
- Ask for and accept help
- Keep up with your own regular doctor visits
- Eat well and get regular exercise
- Schedule time to spend with friends, family and to pursue your own interests
Finally, be sure to give yourself a break; you’re doing your best and that’s all anyone can ask. When you have difficult moments or bad days, try not to take it personally; your loved one is ill and their current behaviors are not a reflection of their character or how they feel about you.