We’ve all heard that the mind is a terrible thing to waste, most likely from our parents or a schoolteacher trying to persuade us into good academic standing. As kids, we probably shrugged off the warning. But as we get older and reach our retirement years, this phrase begins to carry more truth as the risk of memory loss increase.
For many family caregivers of a loved one with memory loss, keeping their loved one from wandering off by themselves is part of their reality. According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, approximately 60 percent of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia will wander. Confusion or disorientation, mood swings and other symptoms of the disease can convince an individual that they need to go somewhere, and this could put them at serious risk of harm.
According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 80% of long-term care in the United States is provided by informal caregivers such as a spouse, adult child or close friend. If you’re caring for an aging loved one, you’re not alone. But just because the role of family caregiver is increasingly common doesn’t make the job any easier. Those caring for a loved one with declining health or abilities often suffer from physical and emotional burnout and significant levels of stress.