Taking care of a relative suffering from Alzheimer’s can be trying, stressful and emotional as the disease progresses.
Yet many families want to keep their relative close, and provide the best care they can from home. It’s important to remember, however, that you can’t care for someone else if you get too run down yourself.
Here are some tips for caregivers that can help you stay healthy and be better able to provide the patience and understanding necessary to the care of their loved one.
1. Share the responsibility. Being the sole person responsible for your loved one’s care can be too much. When you’re run down, stressed out or frustrated you won’t be a good caregiver, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Going on too long without a break can lead to emotional and physical health deterioration in your health. Get other family members to help so you have time to yourself as well.
2. Take time for yourself. Make time for the activities that you love at least once a week. Lowering your stress levels will reduce your risk of illnesses and make you feel mentally better. You also want to make sure that you’re nurturing your relationship with your children and family. Caring for a loved one takes a lot of time, but spend time with others as well.
3. Don’t blame yourself. When caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer’s, accidents will inevitably happen now and again no matter how careful you are. Don’t put all the blame on yourself and further stress yourself out. If you’re doing the best you can, understand that you cannot plan for or prevent every possibility. Learning to relax a little and step back will give you some perspective and lower your stress levels.
4. Join a support group. Don’t go through the stress of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s alone. Caretakers can find support groups. There are numerous websites and blogs dedicated to providing advice, support and laughs to lighten the mood. Finding emotional support is key to keeping yourself mentally healthy and able to care for your loved one.
While being a caregiver can sometimes feel like an all-consuming task, it’s important to pull out a few moments each day to think about yourself and your health. If you are happy, healthy you will be able to provide care and take care of your life as well.
Understand that there are Alzheimer’s care facilities that can meet your needs where your loved one can be happy. Contact Spring Arbor Living in your area for information when the time comes where you feel you or your loved one may be better off with professional care.
Original article – Alzheimer’s Reading Room