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Peer Talk

My grandma has dementia and requires a lot of care but my grandpa refuses to accept any kind of home care or put her in a home and…

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we have to take care of my grandma alone which is a huge task. My mom has health problems and is having a terrible time trying to look after two households. Is there anything we can do?

Taking responsibility for an ailing family member can be difficult in many ways. You or your other family members may be emotionally drained, or may be tired from the constant worry or constant checkups.

Because of this, it is essential that you first get to know what you’re dealing with such as learning about the mental illness or disease that your family member may have, or getting to know the different resources offered in your community that may aid you in the care of your family member. Because it is difficult to know which resources may be the best fit for you and your family, doing extensive research can help with that decision such as looking on websites, reading reviews, and calling in to ask about the amenities offered at a care center or facility.

Resources could include the Alzheimer’s Association website and learning the different forms of care that are offered, or depending on where you live, Alberta Health Services, or Alzheimer Calgary. It’s all about broadening your range of understanding of what you and your family might be getting into and how you can deal with the change and best provide for a smooth transition for your family member. 

After doing this initial research, it might be good to reflect on what you’ve learned about the disease or mental illness, and what resources and options are available. Then you can make informed decisions based on what you think would be the best option for you and your family and what would be beneficial in order for your family member to have the best care possible. Don’t forget what would be the best option for you to be able to go on about your life too. Even though it is crucial for your family member to receive the best care that they can, you shouldn’t forget about yourself or sacrifice your health.

It is only through fully understanding the health care system, the facility’s amenities and inner workings, and the understanding of where your family member would fit in best at, can you then make an informed decision on what the future of your family member is going to look like.

However, throughout this ordeal, although it make be extremely easy for you to solely focus on your family member and sacrifice your time to ensuring that your family member is being taken care of, it is also important to note that this is a huge responsibility that you are taking on, especially if you plan on caring for your family member without any external aid.

In order to take on such a huge responsibility, it should be imperative that you first take care of yourself. Making sure that you are healthy and at your best can be so much more beneficial for your family than if you sacrificed yourself for them, as you are better able to provide for the needs of your family. Practicing self-care and involving yourself in activities that you enjoy and are passionate about such as playing sports, listening to music, doing yoga, or eating healthy, could be ways in which you prepare yourself and get ready and energized in order for you to provide the best form of care for your family member.

Although it is difficult and tiring to take on full responsibility of a family member, or making sure that you are going to be able to provide them with good care in facilities, you should know that what you’re doing for your family is incredible and you should be commended for what you’re doing in every aspect. It is a hard time for you and for your family, but instead of letting that responsibility weigh you down, you are already trying to finding ways in which you can also stay healthy in order for you to care for your family and trying to find ways so that you can provide the best kind of life for your family member.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at, or text us at 587.333.2724. As well, you could always contact 211 for other various resources.

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