It happens often: A caregiver becomes the care-receiver.  And when it happens, it must be a difficult transition. Click the player above to hear Jane Chappell, a registered nurse by trade, talk about what she went through in that transition.

A caregiver often puts his or her golden years on the back burner in order to take care of a spouse or loved one.  It’s a bit of a jolt to realize that suddenly you are the one who needs - or is perceived to need a caregiver.   It’s difficult for both the caregivers and the care receivers but with some patience, understanding and good communication on both sides, it can become easier.

If you are in the position of becoming a caregiver, try to remember:

  • The care receiver has a heart and a mind.  They may have trouble finding them on occasion, but promise you’ll help to find them and you’ll try to keep them active.
  • Let the care receiver do what they can for as long as they can.  They may not do it exactly the way or as quickly as you would, but it’s important to let them do it.
  • Remember that the care receiver once had a life full of experiences.  Listen a little and you might learn something
  • If you really can’t do this – become a good caregiver – get help.  There may be other family members or friends who are willing to step in, and there are certainly many agencies and services available to assist.
  • Respect the care receiver’s age and who and what they were.  Remind them of what they accomplished in life and tell them the things you remember about them.  This will be helpful to them in their new life.
  • Keep the memories – sometimes that is all they have so share them.  We’re all good at the old stuff and we love to remember good friends and good times
  • Say “I love you.” Love is the base of everything – nothing else really matters

Miles for Memories is creating solutions for those impacted with dementia in Calhoun County through movement, programming and research.