The life of a caregiver is full of rewards. After all, you love knowing that you contribute to someone else's happiness every day. However, caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease is also demanding, and the stress that is generated by dealing with dementia symptoms such as memory loss and aggression can place you at risk for burnout. Use these tips to take care of yourself as a caregiver so that burnout does not stop you from giving your all each day.
Learn About the Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease typically progresses through several stages that each have varying levels of symptoms. Talk to a professional caregiver coach, like those at Nurse - Mother - Caregiver, to learn more about what you can expect in each stage. While you might not be able to stop the progression of the disease, this does help you to understand what might occur next so that you can be proactive with the care plan. Knowing what is normal behavior during each stage also makes it easier to cope with challenging behaviors such as agitation since you know that it is just part of the disease and not a response to your caregiving technique.
Find Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress
Over time, the stress of being a caregiver adds up, and you can quickly end up with burnout if you do not find ways to vent your emotions. Identify a few quick stress relievers that you can do while you are on duty, such as deep breathing or a brief hand massage with scented lotion. Then, find a few activities that you can enjoy when you are off-duty that help you release negative energy. Whether you go for a jog or get lost in a novel, the important thing is to find something that allows you to escape from the stress.
Discover New Ways to Promote Independence
New caregivers often feel overwhelmed at the scope of their responsibility. After all, Alzheimer's care can mean having to help someone with the majority of their day, and you may worry about forgetting something important. Professional caregiver coach services can show you how to help someone with Alzheimer's be more independent such as incorporating memory aids or using technology to keep them safe.
As a caregiver, you can expect to enjoy many joys that make the challenges worth it. While it can be overwhelming to be responsible for someone else's care, you should never feel alone. Start today by surrounding yourself with support from coaches, friends and family members so that you always have somewhere to turn when you feel the symptoms of burnout creeping in to your day.
I have a passion for seniors. When I was growing up, my granny was my best friend. She helped me with my homework every day after school and was always ready to lend an ear when I needed someone to talk to. As I grew older and my grandmother did as well, she developed dementia. My parents, siblings, and I all took turns visiting her home to give her the extra care she needed. I learned a lot during this experience and know there are others out there with elderly relatives they are already caring for or suspect may need some extra care. I decided to create a blog to share my senior care tips with anyone and everyone who needs the advice. Come back often for new posts!