Coping with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be stressful and exhausting on everyone involved, but family conflict stemming from the situation at hand can really push the challenge over the “what can I handle” threshold. If your loved ones can’t work together to formulate as stress-free and seamless of a caregiving experience as possible, the one suffering with the diagnosis will likely struggle even more.
A resilient, dependable support system is critical to the wellbeing and safety of any Alzheimer’s patient, regardless of their progression. Today, let’s explore a few ways your family can better coordinate and cooperate, minimizing conflict and maximizing care.
Consistent Communication and Regular Meetings
Keeping everyone on the same page spares the family members involved from needless backtracking or miscommunications. Even nowadays as many of us need to remain at home, digital solutions such as Zoom and Facebook Messenger groups can be useful. You could even draft a shared Google doc or sheet with the intended care plan/tasks each member is responsible for. Combined with pre-scheduled family meetings, digital or otherwise, you’ll be able to better ensure no important changes or other details slip through the cracks – or get misconstrued along the way in the grapevine.
Create a Bias-Free, Supportive Environment for Yourselves
It goes without saying that toxic individuals create toxic environments, and not everyone needs to be involved with looking after a loved one. Keep the core support group small and close-knit, working closely and considerately with all involved to ensure no bad blood or overtly critical feedback. Mutual respect, a drama-free atmosphere, constructive support, and assisting one another are your keys to making the arrangement work.
Equally Distributed Responsibilities
If one family member has the world placed on their shoulders, managing almost every caregiving task, they are susceptible to burnout or performing each duty less efficiently. Of course, such an arrangement wouldn’t be fair on them, either. From managing finances to working with a caregiving service, making living arrangements and more, there are several important tasks that need to be handled with discretion and diligence, and one person can’t be doing it all. Instead, assign a role to each family member involved so they can assist in a reasonable, realistic manner.
Looking after a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is just as much about looking after your own selves. Establish an approach with family that minimizes drama and addresses their concerns in a supportive manner, and you’ll be able to make more effective decisions. The only way to cope with such circumstances is to do so together!
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