A caregiver can be family, a friend, or a health care professional – anyone who is looking after someone with any stage of dementia. Dealing with a loved one or patient with dementia can be extremely challenging and can be overwhelming at times. So, it’s important, for you to continue to be helpful and a person they can rely on, that you also take care of yourself. Caregivers are at higher risk of:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Poor sleep and diet
- Chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease
- Headaches and other aches and pains
Ask for Help
It’s important as caregivers, especially when you’re a family member, to ask for help when you need it. The responsibility to take care of the person you love shouldn’t be solely on you if you have other family members who can chip in. You should never feel like you must do it all. So, if being a caregivers is leaving you feeling burnt out and sometimes angry, try to enlist some help.
Eat Healthy Foods
If you want to help someone else, it’s important you also look after yourself. Self-neglect will only cause you to become unwell and not be able to do the caregiving tasks that you want to do. So, you must try to eat a healthy balanced diet. If you’re the one cooking for a loved one with dementia, mix it up and enjoy some new foods together.
Join a Support Group
Many people won’t be able to understand what life is like for primary caregivers, so it’s a good idea to join a support group. Caring for someone comes with many challenges, so it’s nice to meet people who have been through or are going through a similar experience to you. You can share stories and ideas, and this is especially important if you’re starting to feel isolated.
Consider seeking help if you need it. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have the arsenal to take on everything. You may wish to consider memory care Howell. It’s a form of senior housing specifically tailored toward residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. This way, they can enjoy a safe environment with 24-hour care if it’s needed. For many people, this is the best option, as they can get the care they deserve, while you can continue to support them with family visits.
Exercise When You Can
If you’re feeling stressed and under pressure, it can help to get outside and do some exercise. Whether you choose to go for a walk, a run, or simply do a short yoga class on YouTube, not only does it help to take some time for yourself, but exercising can help reduce feelings of fatigue.
Keep Up with Friends and Hobbies
While giving care is an incredibly noble and selfless thing to do, you can’t allow it to take over your life. It’s important to tend to your own life too. So, try to ensure you keep up with friends and your own hobbies. It could simply mean taking half an hour out of your day to meet a friend for coffee or doing an art class after work. Whatever you do that makes you feel like you, will help in the long run.