Alzheimer’s: Self-Care for Caregivers

Original Publishing Date :May 17, 2017
Publisher: National Institute of Health [NIH]
Author : National Institute on Aging[NIA]

Alzheimer’s caregivers struggle with aggressive behaviors of their  loved ones and  the impact of the disease. Caregiving for someone with dementia is a commitment that changes over the course of the disease — requiring more time, skills, decision-making and patience.

“Absolutely the easiest thing for someone to say and the hardest thing to accept is the advice to take care of yourself as a caregiver…It is often hard to see beyond the care tasks that await you each morning.”

Every caregiver needs help at times, sometimes from a  professional. Some caregivers need help when the person is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Other caregivers look for help when the person is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. It’s okay to seek help whenever needed. Caregivers feel that asking for help shows weakness or a lack of caring, but the opposite is true. Asking for help shows one’s strength. It means a caregiver understands their limits and knows when to seek support. Support groups are a great way to share and gain information from others who have experienced similar situations.

Self-care is one of the most essential parts of life that every caregiver must learn, especially if they are not willing to accept outside help. It is very important for caregivers to take some time out and rejuvenate  for the next day. For example: keeping up with hobbies and interests, making time for one’s own mental and physical health, watching movies, reading books or tuning into some good music that makes one smile and relax while also prioritizing exercise.

Finally, caregivers should understand that feeling angry, guilty, frustrated, overwhelmed, or exhausted are common emotions one feels through the journey.  It’s important to acknowledge and accept one’s emotions, and to talk about them with others.

To know more about how to take care of yourself, click here: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-caregiving-caring-yourself

 

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