Caring for a relative with Alzheimer's disease can be an intensely emotional and stressful journey. Since there is no cure for the condition, only support and caregiving can make a difference in your loved one's quality of life. Generally, caregiving is all-consuming as the patient's physical, cognitive, and functional abilities gradually diminish. However, with essential tips, you can easily provide Alzheimer's care without feeling overwhelmed. Here are tips to help you have an exceptional caregiving experience:
Study and Understand Alzheimer's Disease
The burden of caregiving will overwhelm you if you don't understand the condition. Alzheimer's symptoms worsen as the disease progresses, bringing new challenges for caregivers. Understanding the characteristics of the disease's three stages of progression is vital in preparing yourself psychologically. At least, no symptom will get you by surprise.
Build Support System
It's always good to admit that you can't entirely do it on your own. In this regard, building a local support system is essential. The system provides the help and emotional support needed to walk this journey. Your support system can be a local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. You can attend their meetings, meet others, and share experiences and concerns. You can also reach out to a caregiver support group, faith groups, family, and even friends.
Planning is vital in ensuring that you provide care without neglecting your health. Alzheimer's care can put one at risk of health problems, such as high levels of stress, depression, and even burnout. Thus, you should plan all your daily activities. Set aside time for doing household chores and other caregiving activities. Also, schedule time for self-care, including exercising, dancing, listening to music, and stretching.
You can't provide Alzheimer's care if you are sick. Your relative needs you strong, physically and emotionally. Don't prioritize your loved one's needs and neglect yours. If you have a sound mind and body, then you will be the best caregiver. Talk about your caregiving duty with others, especially friends and family members. It is always good to share your experiences, fears, and frustrations. Talking to people is a meaningful way of relieving emotional tension.
You can always ask for help with Alzheimer's caregiving. Asking others to help doesn't mean that you are neglecting your loved one. So, please don't feel bad about it. Patients with Alzheimer's need more care as the disease progresses to advanced stages. In such a case, you will require more help as it will be increasingly overwhelming for you.
The Bottom Line
Alzheimer's care is both rewarding and challenging. It is psychologically distressing to see your loved one's skills and memories erode. If you don't take care, you will suffer from exhaustion, loneliness, sadness, and even depression. However, there are strategies that you can adopt to make your caregiving journey an amazing experience. Reach out to a professional for more Alzheimer's care help.Share