Families and caregivers face many challenges when dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s/dementia. People do not realize that, they are suffering just as much as their loved one. The feelings of fear, anger, frustration, shame, despair and finally relief is so palpable during our conversations. Quite often the conversation starts with “I don’t know if you can help me, you are my last hope.” We have been to so many doctors and no one is able to help with all of our concerns.
I explain to them that we do not treat only the medical concerns. We look at the person as a whole; including but not limited to medical, cognitive, behavioral, social and emotional aspects. We incorporate other agencies and professionals when needed and support the doctors and care team in place. We aim to find the correct medication to manage dementia and associated behaviors, which can be devastating, but often treatable. We reassure the family members that we will always be available to address the issues that come up.
The sense of hope and relief is again restored.