Self Care for the Caregiver

Caregiving whether it’s for the young or old isn’t an easy job to do. Caregivers for people with dementia are faced with the most challenges of all. The lack of communication from a person with dementia due to brain cell loss and the inability to express their needs can lead a caregiver to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and isolated-especially if they don’t have support. Caregivers need proper tools and training to succeed and help them thrive in taking on this role.

It is important for a caregiver to learn as much as possible about their loved-ones disease. This will help make you more aware of the challenges you may face and what to expect along the way. Understanding dementia will help make sense of behaviors that can occur while taking care of a person and there are support groups available too. Outside resources such as adult daycare centers, in-home care/support, and assisted living options are available and can be accessed for those who need help.

Preventing stress as a caregiver is significant. Making time for yourself shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored, the Alzheimer’s Association suggests the following: Be physically active daily-at least 10 minutes. Do an activity with the person you’re caring for (walk, dance, garden-depending on their function level), eat healthy, and accept help from others when it is offered. No matter what a person with dementia’s needs are, caregivers need care too.

To find a local support group visit or the National Family Caregivers Association for more information.