The ‘perfect carer’: Is it even a thing?

Some people can feel guilty when trying to act as the ‘perfect carer’ for somebody living with dementia. But is perfection even possible? Read advice from members of our online community.

We asked members of Talking Point what they’d say to help someone who’s worried about being the ‘perfect carer’.

Talking Point is a helpful community that’s free and open 24/7, where anyone who’s affected by dementia can get valuable support online.

Catastrophe says,

‘Deal with the here and now because the tomorrows will not be what you expect, so why worry?

‘If you need to do something, do it now. Tomorrow the **** might hit the fan and I mean that quite literally. 

‘And the hardest one of all, ditch the guilt. You don’t need it, it does no good and whatever you decide to do it will still be there. So wave it goodbye.’ 

TNJJ says,

‘Set yourself some limits and stick to them. Like how long you are going to care for and how you are to manage it. Caring is all about managing. 

‘But also remember you have to take care of yourself. Remember, there is only one you.

‘When it gets too bad for you is usually the time to step outside the box and “look” at yourself and the situation.’

karaokePete says,

‘There is no such thing as the perfect carer so don't give yourself a guilt driven depression trying to be something that doesn't exist. Unrealistic expectations drive us towards failure.

‘Always be prepared to say to everyone that you struggle and need help as you will be left to your own devices if everyone thinks that nothing is needed.’ 

Jessbow says,

‘Pick your battles. Don’t sweat the small stuff.’ 

Thethirdmrsc says,

‘Show me a perfect carer, and I’ll show you a liar. For the first couple of years if anyone asked how I was, I would shrug and say, “Oh it’s fine, I manage.” Trying to be a cross between a martyr or a saint. 

‘The next couple of years broke me, and I’ll tell anyone now how awful it is. People need to know, or else things will never change.’

Talking Point
Visit our online community to get advice, share experiences, connect.

Terz says,

‘We each have different pressures and priorities in our lives. What I do and am willing to give up or not, may be different than my siblings choose. That doesn’t make any of us better or worse than the others.’ 

superbat says,

‘Please don’t struggle, the caring is struggle enough without trying for perfection which looks different to each person who is caring.’ 

mickeyplum says,

‘Take a few minutes every now and then to look in the mirror and give yourself a pat on the back, be proud of how you’re trying to do your best even though times are tough, forgive yourself for any times you’ve been impatient, and remind yourself just how special carers are.’ 

fromnz123 says,

‘I just aim to be “good enough”!’ 

karty says,

‘I reckon the perfect carer does not exist, but someone could be getting close to it if they care for themselves as much as they care for the person they are caring for.’ 

Do you have tips for supporting a person with dementia who’s struggling to follow different rules and signs while out and about?

Let us know by the end of 5 September 2021 so we can share it in our next magazine.

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Dementia together magazine: Aug/Sept 21

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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4 comments

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I have been a Carer for my husband for 7 years and have always thought of myself as the world’s worse Carer. I do try very hard to be a good Carer but seem to fail every time. However, having read the comments here I realise that others have doubts too and this has helped me a lot. Thank you all so very very much.

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Take all the help you can get the day might come when you might have to make the decision to give the relative the benefit of full time care they may be more comfortable and by then you will need the break don’t feel bad you’re doing the best for the relative

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I am having a really difficult time at the moment with caring for mom however all you comments have cheered me up I’m not perfect and I am doing my best

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Patricia, we're really sorry to hear you're going through such a difficult time at the moment. We're glad to hear reading the comments cheered you up.

If you're in the UK, we'd recommend speaking with one of our dementia advisers by calling the Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456. This is a great way to get dementia information, support and advice specific to your mother's situation. (More information about the support line, including opening times, can be found here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementia-connect-support-line)

You might benefit from talking with other people affected by dementia within our online community, Talking Point. Feel free to browse and read others' experiences, or create an account to reply and connect with others. You may find similar situations to yours and your mother's shared there: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/

Remember to call the support line on 0333 150 3456 if you need to speak with someone about this, Patricia.

We hope this is useful.

Alzheimer's Society website team

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