While many are looking forward to the Christmas Holidays, many others are struggling with the huge responsibility of being a caregiver for a loved one. This is not a light feat by any means.
If the lessened ability is related to dementia - there are some 70 types and only guesses from basic tests. Dr. Daniel Amen has trained professionals in the USA, but to my understanding it is not in Canada yet.
So, when there is a guess of what is affected, there is a problem of leaving a loved one alone. Can they be trusted? Do things in the house have to have locks on them? This is a difficult decision when one is caring for an adult/parent as opposed to a new baby to the family. Child-locks are often necessary for everyone's safety. What about hiding keys - also so the person doesn't take the care and drive to who knows where? Or gets lost finding their way home. Or 'runs' away from home?
Then, if the person had not made legal decisions before the inability began, more struggles occur to find help, resources to protect the loved one (often from themselves). What if the person doesn't recall they ate 5 minutes ago? Or has no memory of blacking out from too much alcohol or other household items? What if they become violent & aggressive? What then?
Having to call 911 for help is often a needed issue. However, this can cause other paranoid issues of the loved one, who may be resisting help and being vulnerable to those who could take advantage. What then? How do you prove they are a danger to themselves? Pictures? Witnesses? Mold in the fridge, unhealthy conditions in the house, hoarding, hiding food and other things away from sight but not aware of where they placed them. All of this can cause a very unhealthy and often dangerous environment.
What is a caregiver to do? Well, firstly, I suggest taking a breath. If not in a 911 situation, maybe write down the list of pros and cons; local resources; choices; legal & financial issues & resources and help. Maybe there are some others who understand, who can safely care for a loved one (without them feeling like they are being babysat). Are there family, friends, clergy, co-op (trading time with other caregivers caring for family; babysitting children - so monies isn't an added issue to an already difficult situation.
I understand various aspects of this, as I have seen and experienced various things that include dementia, addiction, violence and more. I truly want to come alongside and 'listen to your heart'. Help you find a balance in this chaos. Assist you in seeing the proverbial 'forest for the trees' - so that in caring for yourself, finding some resolution, completeness in the unfinished relationships that you wish were 'better, different, or more'.
I really understand how financial stress can just be another thing. So I try to provide partial scholarships and more whenever I can. But the commitment for 7-10 weeks of work, weekly homework and accountability meetings (also for self-care) is something you need to be ready to do.
If you are, then you have nothing to lose by having a free 45 minute consult with me. If I feel I am not the best fit - I will see what resources I can find for you - just because I care.
Please consider, if you keep doing what you are doing, burn-out is often another item that can very much affect your own health (mental and physical). But, with new tools and resources, you can gain perspective to move forward. I would be honoured if you would set up a time with me soon.