From the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be quite stressful. It is important to take care of yourself emotionally and physically, both for your own sake and for your loved one. Taking care of yourself can help to avoid burnout, illness, and depression. It isn’t easy to be a full or part time caregiver, but here are some tips to keep yourself healthy:
- Ask other people for help with your caregiving duties, especially family and close friends.
- Take breaks throughout the day.
- Make sure to find time to spend doing things you enjoy. participate actively in hobbies.
- Join a support group. It can help to talk to people going through similar challenges.
- If you have spiritual needs, you can attend church, temple, or mosque for extra support.
- Focus on your physical health by exercising, eating healthy foods, and visiting your doctor for routine check-ups.
To stay emotionally healthy, you can remind yourself of these things:
- You’re doing the best you can.
- It is hard for everyone to be a caregiver.
- You’re not perfect and that is okay.
- You can’t control all circumstances.
- You are allowed to and should take time for yourself.
- When it becomes more than you can handle, you should get help.
It’s normal to feel frustrated, angry, and guilty through this emotional journey, and it can be hard for many caregivers to ask for help. You don’t have to go through this alone, and there are many resources out there to help lessen the emotional burden. You can ask friends and family for help with specific tasks, such as spending some time with the person with Alzheimer’s out of the home, or preparing a meal for you. If you are needing an extended break, you might consider a respite stay at a memory care community. You can learn more about respite care at The Piper by calling 913-400-7006. The University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center has support groups for caregivers of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. For more information call 913-588-0555 or visit us at www.kualzheimer.org
The Piper is committed to serving those living with Alzheimer’s and is a Community Partner with KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center, which conducts research for an improved treatment and cure for the disease.