We all need a break from our everyday lives. Working people take vacations. Parents who send their small children to a day care center generally find that both they and their children are refreshed by the few hours' respite from each other's company. Throughout our lives, family and community times must be balanced with moments of private revitalization and renewal.
As a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer's disease, your need for respite, refreshment, and privacy is as great as it ever was and may even have increased. At the same time, you may feel that the increased demands that are put on you by your patient's needs make it almost impossible for you to find time for recreation and release.
Nevertheless, relief is possible. It is also necessary, not only for you but for your impaired relative as well. Doing things for yourself and having time away from your patient will help you to function better.
The feeling of helplessness that you and other caregivers experience in the face of this illness is frightening and can become overpowering. The constant needs and demands of the impaired patient seem to encircle and threaten to engulf you. When you feel trapped in this way, unable to escape the situation, the terrible feelings of helplessness increase to the point where you may become overwhelmed.