Care of those with Alzheimer’s is often the responsibility of close family members. Such responsibility can be physically, mentally, and financially draining. Caregivers have to make sure that the person with Alzheimer’s is under constant care as they regulate eating, hygiene, and social activities. As a result, they often find themselves overwhelmed.
For Hispanics, this stress is even greater. Latinos are less likely to place their elderly in nursing homes, choosing instead to take matters into their own hands. In many cases, however, they are not fully aware about Alzheimer’s disease. They may not know what treatment options are available or they may be caught completely by surprise by behaviorial swings. Such situations can cause them to feel hopeless and increased levels of stress. Therefore, our mission at Fuerza Contra Alzheimer’s is to ensure all Hispanics are informed about this horrible disease.
Research on the effects of caregiving reveals there are several ways to minimize negative consequences. The first is to remain informed. Families and caregivers that know about Alzheimer’s progression and valuable strategies to facing difficult situations are better equipped to handle the stresses of caregiving.
Furthermore, the development of a strong social network that includes friends, families, and other caregivers can prove invaluable in facing the struggles of caregiving. Those who have such networks have other people to turn to for stress-relief, new insight, and emotional comfort.