Lessons For Caregiving

Lessons For Caregiving.

Long-term caregiving of the mentally ill can be particularly onerous, and this American Psychological Association article in its February 2017 issue of Monitor on Psychology gives us some understanding and handles in caring for our loved ones. A quote here from the National Alliance for Caregiving gives us some idea of the vulnerability encountered by caregivers as they undergo the stresses and strains of their labour of love: In a study of more than 1,600 caregivers who were providing care to adults affected by bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depression or other mental illnesses, more than 70 percent of the caregivers reported high levels of emotional stress. 40 percent said they found it difficult to take care of their own health. More than half said that after diagnosis, it was difficult to find the right drug dose for their loved ones. Only one-third felt that the medication was effectively managing the mental health condition, and one-third said it was difficult getting loved ones to adhere to the medication regimen.” My wife and I were in a similar position caring for my aged mother, who lived with us for close to 20 years, and watched as her Alzheimer deteriorated markedly towards the last years of her life. We were exhausted, and I was close to burnout, at the end of it, but have never regretted the enriching experience of looking after her.

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