Carer exhaustion

I care for my husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago. I promised I would look after him, but I am exhausted and often feel that I cannot carry on any more as he does not know who I am or where he is. It feels pointless carrying on. What can I do?

Eight years is a long time to look after a person with dementia. Caring is emotionally and physically draining, and everyone needs a break and, at some point, a lot more help.

Deciding when to get some help can be very, very hard as it can feel like a betrayal despite the changes your relationship has gone through.

There is help for you though. Some people find joining a carer’s group helpful, or if you would prefer more individual support, please phone our Admiral Nursing Direct helpline where you will be able to speak to a dementia specialist nurse for individual advice and support, and to find out if there is an Admiral Nurse available in your area.

Planning for the future is also very important for you and your husband. Having a plan can help you to cope with the decisions for the future. Looking at different care options doesn’t mean you are giving up; you are just considering what could help and what support can be accessed in the future.