A caretaker pushes an elderly woman with Alzheimer's in a wheelchair by two windows: one showing a sunset and the other showing a sunrise.

Why Is There Never Enough Time?

One definition of TIME is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.

So I ask myself...as a caregiver to our loved one with Alzheimer’s, why is there never enough time?

Our to-do list never stops growing

We are awake and working before everyone else. We go to sleep after everyone else. So why at the end of our day is there so much left undone? We often can’t sleep because we lay in bed thinking about all the things we didn’t get done and will be added to our to-do list for tomorrow.

Being a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is one of the most demanding and time consuming “jobs” most of us will ever have. Our days are very full.

Helping loved ones get ready for the day

First thing in the morning our loved one will need help with toileting. We will give them their morning medication and help them eat their breakfast that we prepared for them. We will remind them to take their morning medication (and order a refill of their medication when needed!) Our loved one will need our help with bathing or showering, maybe their nails will need to be cut.

We will help them to get dressed in inappropriate clothing for their day. Maybe our loved one would like to color in their favorite coloring book, listen to their favorite song, or play a game with us. This might be a day they have one of their many doctor's appointments this week that we will drive them to or arrange transportation for.

Taking care of home chores and duties

When we get home from their doctor's appointment, we notice the house needs to be cleaned. We start dusting and vacuuming, washing dishes, clean the bathroom, and doing the laundry that is piled up. During all this activity our loved one will need help with toileting and also lunch. While making lunch we notice our food supplies running low so we will have to make a trip to the grocery store or order online for at-home delivery.

The mailman will deliver the mail which we will have to go through. We need to set time aside to pay our loved one's bills and manage their finances. Soon it will be time to prepare dinner and help our loved one enjoy eating that dinner. We will make time to play games, look at family pictures, color, and listen to music throughout our day.

Nighttime routines and trouble going to bed

Soon it will be time to help our loved one get ready for bed. We will toilet and change them into their pajamas. We will help them brush their teeth and get into bed. My mom often would enjoy listening to me read her a bedtime story. Then hopefully after all that our loved one will actually be able to sleep through the night.

Sadly, often our loved one will have trouble sleeping or will need to go to the bathroom during the night so they will wake us up to help them. We will try to get as much sleep as we can, knowing that tomorrow will be another long day.

We do the best we can for our loved ones

Such is often the daily life of an Alzheimer’s caregiver. This kind of demanding schedule is why as caregivers we need to learn how to ask for help from our family and friends to give us time for self-care.

And why we often need help from a professional caregiver to help us care for our loved one with Alzheimer’s. We all do the best we can on this difficult journey.

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