Caring for your loved one while they suffer from cognitive decline conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia can be a struggle, and putting a priority on your own needs as a caregiver can seem selfish, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. In this blog post, we offer three tips for Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers.
3 Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
1. Don’t try and do it all on your own: It is a common occurrence among Alzheimer’s caregivers to try and go it alone, but you must be prepared to accept help from others. Realize that help from your friends and family will lessen the weight of your own tasks and decrease the overwhelming stress. Consider contracting a non-medical caregiver and realize that you do not care any less about your loved one if you accept or actively seek out assistance.
2. Knowledge is power: Understanding your loved one’s condition will undoubtedly aid in determining the care you will give. Be familiar with each stage of their disease, which one they are in and which appropriate care tips and techniques apply in order to find success through an already difficult situation. That understanding will surely serve as a platform for becoming successful Alzheimer’s caregivers.
3. Don’t throw your own needs to the wayside: Taking care of your own needs doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be sacrificed in order to be an effective caregiver. Did you know that Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rack up billions of their own medical bills each year? With this in mind it is especially important to make sure you are keeping yourself healthy and active both as a caregiver and as a human being. Be sure to do something for yourself on a regular basis and understand that while you care for your loved one, you are allowed to focus on your own health and happiness as well.
Keep in mind that these ideas are only the tip of the iceberg and each situation will be unique. Alzheimer’s caregivers undergo an immense amount of stress and while it is a heavy burden to bear, these tips may help lessen your load.
Photo Credit: K. Kendall