How do I handle things when the rest of my family isn’t helping take care of loved one with Alzheimer’s?
In brief, if you’ve tried to involve other family members with the care of your loved one and they haven’t responded, you have to let it go. You cannot control how another person responds. Also, you don’t need the burden of worrying about others’ actions added to your significant concerns. Many times, family members can be intimidated by Alzheimer’s disease. Others go through denial. Regardless, the fact is they have chosen to be uninvolved and that is their problem. You’ve chosen to deal with it and help out. You have to move on and take care of yourself. When solo caregiving gets to you, seek help. Don’t be afraid to look for support groups, counseling or non-family sources of help even before you think or feel you need it. But when you do get to the totally overwhelmed point, be sure to confide in a trusted friend or look for an area support group, or both. That’s where you can express your feelings. In a group, there is almost always someone who can relate to your situation. Sometimes, you can “adopt” someone new to become a part of your family — perhaps a friend, church member, or acquaintance — and receive help that way. Everyone deals with stressful situations differently. Try to keep your family in the loop as much as possible. Give or send them pertinent information pertaining to Alzheimer’s so they have the means to be knowledgeable and then you have to … let it go. They are adults, capable of making decisions for themselves and living with them.