Many individuals living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia rely on in-home caregivers, with families being the primary source of support for older adults and people with disabilities.
The country's shortage of professional home-care workers has worsened, forcing families to provide care while many individuals are working full-time jobs, experiencing conflicts between their commitments. While it can be difficult, taking care of yourself—physically and mentally—is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver.
Ways to Take Care of Yourself
Here are some ways you can take care of yourself:
Ask for help when you need it.
Maintain a healthy diet.
Join a caregiver's support group.
Take breaks each day.
Spend time with friends.
Keep up with your hobbies and interests.
Get exercise as often as you can.
See your doctor regularly.
Keep your health, legal, and financial information up-to-date.
Asking for Help
Everyone could use some help. However, many family caregivers find it hard to ask for assistance. They may feel they should be able to do everything themselves, or they feel uncomfortable leaving their loved one with someone else. Financial stress can also prevent one from searching for support. Here are some tips about asking for help:
Remind yourself that it's okay to ask for help from family, friends, and others. You don't have to do it all yourself.
Ask people to assist with specific tasks, like making a meal, visiting with your loved one, or taking them out for a short time.
Use national and local resources to find assistance in paying for help or getting respite care services.
They say there is power in knowledge. Learning from others on the dementia journey can make a huge difference in your confidence as a caregiver. Look for education programs dedicated to dementia caregiving on our program calendar, or join a support group.
ADAW is here to provide caregivers with education, information, and resources to help relieve stress and reduce caregiver burnout, providing a better quality of life for individuals with dementia and their care partner.