Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's? 3 Ways You Can Be The Best Caregiver
It can be an extremely challenging task to take care of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. If you aren't used to the caregiver role, it can consume you. Eventually, it will become overwhelming and you will find yourself neglecting your health. This is not good for you, nor is it good for your loved one. While you do need to take care of your loved one, you must take care of yourself. Otherwise, you cannot provide them with the best possible care. With that being said, here are three tips to help you stay supportive, take care of yourself and be the best possible caregiver you can be:
Tip #1: Give Yourself Relief
While you be your loved one's caregiver, it doesn't mean that you don't need or deserve a break every now and then. It can be exhausting to take care of someone around the clock. Therefore, make sure that you ask a friend, family member or a professional caregiver, such as from Wellspring Meadows Assisted Living, to relieve you. Also, give yourself some breaks throughout the day, even if it is just to walk right outside for five minutes to take a breath of fresh air while your loved one is napping.
Tip #2: Talk to Someone
It may be true that you aren't the person with the disease, but you are going through a lot. It is important not to bottle those emotions up inside, as it will likely eventually erupt and be disastrous for yourself and those around you, including the loved one that you are taking care of. It doesn't matter whether you confide in your best friend, a family member or a licensed therapist – as long as it is someone. You just need someone that will listen to you.
Tip #3: Make Contact with Your Loved One
There could come a time when your loved one will be unable to communicate with your verbally. This will be hard on both of you, so it is important that you take certain steps to make things easier. For example, take time out of your day to connect with them by making physical contact. This could be a light stroking of their arm or hand while making eye contact and talking to them. It is a bit of a different approach, but it can go a long way in helping to reduce stress on both of you, while also improving both of your moods.
As a caregiver, you are no good to your loved one if you allow yourself to experience burnout. The aforementioned tips will help you remain patient, supportive and the best caregiver that you can be.