Do I have to miss my granddaughter's wedding because I am a caregiver?

Q: I care for my husband who has Alzheimer’s. I love to do it, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed. This spring my granddaughter is getting married and I’m afraid I will have to miss her wedding because I can’t leave my husband alone. What should I do?

A: I commend you for taking care of your husband during his journey with Alzheimer’s disease, but I would strongly encourage you to take care of yourself too! Often the health of primary caregivers begins to decline because of physical and emotional exhaustion. It is important to take breaks and to make your own well-being a priority. You could ask a family member or friend to help or you could hire an agency like Freedom Home Care to provide respite care for your husband. This could be a regular visit from an in-home caregiver so you can get out with a friend, run errands or just take a walk.  Maybe you could hire a caregiver so you could occasionally get a good night’s sleep.  You need to do whatever helps you to feel refreshed. You could arrange respite care for a weekend or for an evening so you could attend your granddaughter’s wedding without worrying if your husband is okay. There are many home care options to fit your schedule and individual needs. We also provide Case Managers who can help you navigate through some of the challenges of being a primary caregiver for your loved one. In-home assessments are free and available by calling 507.387.HOME (4663).

Sharon Chader
Licensed Social Worker