Caregivers many times are so involved they can't see how anyone could think there is any time to take care of themselves. There is so much to do and many times a caregiver lives in a hostile environment. Certainly they may not fear for their own safety but many will tell you how much they fear for the safety of their partner and children or friends.
Especially when trying to live through a strong dementia; there truly does not seem to be time to take care of ones' self. There are many chores which in some respects are a blessing to do physical ones, because during this time a caregiver actually has time to think. But while caring for someone during the emotional caregiving, there is no time to think, constant emotional warfare is being fought. So many of us do not realize this type of emotional bombardment day in and day out is exactly what psychological warfare is. It is not just the disease; it is the robbing of a person’s mind. How many times I have heard the disease took my husband (wife) and left me a shell to care for. They looked the same but were not; they didn’t know me or our children, our home, our friends. I have never been so alone.
When all is said and done, these caregivers will never be the same. They have lived a war on the home front. They have fought this war with a person, they stood and solemnly pledged to love and cherish through sickness and health; it is just that no one expected this kind of sickness.
Please go to www.caregiver.org to see material from the Family Caregiver Alliance:
• Caregiving and Ambiguous Loss
• Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors
And please seek help from local resources and support groups.