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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Caregivers need friends

Caregivers of dementia patients need friends.

Caregiving is lonely business. With caregivers of dementia patients, all conversation gradually gets one-sided with not even a nod from their loved one. If you are full time caregiver, the person you are with 24x7 does not interact much though they hear every thing you say!

So full time caregivers lack conversation.

Friends dont visit as often. Perhaps they are not comfortable facing a dementia patient?

Then phone calls also slowly cease. The caregivers cannot do what the rest of their friends are doing. Perhaps they can go out for only short spans of time when their patient is resting. So it is not easy to meet with friends on weekends or go to lunches and dinners with friends. The caregiver starts feeling isolated.

Gradually outings get reduced to quick grocery shopping exercises. With only the TV for company caregivers slowly turn into shells of their former selves.

But caregivers need friends. Especially if they are looking after a dementia patient full time.

If you have a friend who is now a caregiver, make an effort to go over and visit. Make a phone call and tell them what is happening in the world outside.

Caregiving is a labour of love. You can help make it easier for them.

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