There’s no such thing as a “normal day” in the life of someone with dementia – or, for the person caring for them. The individual may abruptly go from enjoying activities, laughing, and singing to aggressive, sullen, and angry. They could become stuck in tearful repetitions of wishing to go “home.” Some might pace and wander. Sleep may be difficult, or it may be all they would like to do.
It is a great honor to care for a loved one with dementia; yet if we are honest, it can also be extremely frustrating and demanding. Our Alzheimer’s care experts are here to help you, however, with these vital tips for reducing stress and restoring mental wellness, peace, and calm to family care providers.
First of all, establish a network of support. It’s simply not possible to care for someone you love with dementia all on your own. Taking time for yourself is a must for your own personal health in addition to that of the senior in your care. When friends and family ask how they may help, provide them with concrete examples of your needs. This might mean a friend to spend a day each week with the senior to play games, reminisce, participate in hobbies or exercise, etc. Perhaps preparing meals or helping with housework and laundry would be a welcome relief. Maybe it’s a ride to social outings or religious services each weekend. Then graciously take the help offered.
Additionally, sign up for a support group (either online or in person) for dementia caregivers . You’ll find other individuals who can sympathize with your challenges and offer tried-and-true approaches to help. Just knowing you have somebody to communicate with who understands can provide tremendous relief.
Spend your downtime prudently. When you have the assistance of others, take advantage of your time to step away from providing care by taking part in activities that allow you to relax and de-stress. Some ideas to get you started include:
- Relaxation techniques such as breathing deeply, progressive muscle relaxation, prayer, meditation, etc.
- Exercising in whatever form is most enjoyable for you personally: taking a walk, riding a bike, gardening, swimming, etc.
- Finding activities to do out of the house, where the fresh air and sunshine can help ease any stress you may be experiencing; pick up a good book and your favorite beverage and settle onto the porch swing
Tend to your health care needs. You may get so involved in making sure your senior family member’s medical appointments are kept that your own have taken a back seat. Make arrangements for a routine checkup and any other tests or treatments you have been putting off. Don’t forget your mental health as well. If your stress level seems overwhelming, contact a professional therapist for help.
At-Home Care Company is a dependable provider of memory care in West Des Moines and throughout the surrounding areas. We understand the importance of helping family care providers prioritize time for self-care. Our knowledgeable dementia care team can provide excellent care, day or night, as you take the time off you need. Give us a call at 515-292-2650 for a complimentary in-home consultation to find out more.