Take Time For Yourself as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC
Alzheimer-Caregiver

Take Time For Yourself as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that affects thinking, behavior, and memory. Though associated with old age, Alzheimer’s isn’t a standard processing of aging. As a caregiver, you may provide support to an aging parent who has succumbed to the disease. However, meeting the everyday demands of someone who may no longer know you can be an exhaustive feat.

However, there are ways that you can ensure your quality of life so you are able to handle the responsibility that goes along with maintaining the well-being of someone else. As part of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, here are some options to consider if you are feeling depleted from everyday duties.

Put Yourself First

Before an airplane’s takeoff, the passengers are instructed to secure their own oxygen masks before meeting the needs of others — and for good reasons. For one, if we aren’t conscious, we are unable to help someone else in need. Secondly, when we are fully charged and ready to go, we can expend some of that energy to save someone’s life.

According to Palms to Tulips, it’s important to take care of yourself. Self-preservation is essential to being a hero for Alzheimer’s patients. While lending a helping hand can impact the world in a big way, self-neglect can have a negatively consequence. Assisting someone else nonstop may cause us to develop sleep deprivation, poor eating and exercise habits and failure to acknowledge any illnesses on our behalf if we work too hard.

Caregivers are also at an increased risk of alcohol use and depression, according to Family Caregiving Alliance. Experts urge caregivers to get plenty of rest, while incorporating healthy diet and exercise habits into their routine. Mediation, taking a vacation and even creating some leisure time for yourself are great ways to maintain stable emotional and physical well-being.

Don’t Skimp on Support

While a caregiver’s job is to cater to the needs of others, it’s comforting to have someone to fall back on during hard times. Communication is vital when it comes to ensuring that you don’t become overwhelmed. It’s OK to let someone know that you cannot handle the pressures of a particular task on your own.

Consider allowing someone else to share the load of preparing meals, taking charge of walks and even driving your senior client around if mobility isn’t an option. Alternatively, taxi services are also available for those with dementia issues, as well as services, such as  Eldercare.gov, an excellent resource for finding transportation services in your area.

Set Boundaries

As many as 43.5 million adults have provided unpaid care to an adult or child, according to Caregiving.org. While caregiving is something that may come naturally to you, whether you are a mother, child or friend, always set limits on what you will and will not do.

You have your own life to live, so you may not always be around to provide 24-7 care. While anger and resentment are universal emotions among caregivers, doing too much can cause emotional overload. Firmly but respectably declare what you will tolerate. Sometimes an Alzheimer’s patient might say mean things without even realizing it. By putting your foot down and letting them know the consequences of their actions, you may notice a better quality in caregiver to patient care.

You take care of others, so take care of yourself.

Lydia Chan, Guest Author

Disclaimer

The opinions, information, and statements made within this article are those of the author alone and not of Heart ‘n Home Hospice. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions, or misrepresentations within this article. Heart ‘n Home Hospice is not liable for any damages resulting from our readers’ interpretations or actions when using the information from our website.

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