Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is life-changing both for the person receiving the diagnosis and anyone who loves them. It is important for family caregivers to allow themselves ample time to prepare for the changes to come with the new responsibilities of caregiving and to discover a healthy way to sort out the assorted emotions that manifest.
As the disease is progressive, it’s important that people caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s are able to find peace during each stage. It can be very helpful to use reflection as a tool to better tackle the challenges and changes. Advanced Home Health Care’s dementia care staff encourage family members to try the following techniques:
Empathizing. Take a moment to consider the older adult’s experience. Envision having difficulties with everyday activities that once could be executed without a second thought. This can help lessen frustrations and allow you to accept and celebrate the successes achieved, regardless of how small.
Socializing. Though of course you are spending a lot of time with the person you’re caring for, be sure to spend time with other people you care about outside of your caregiver role. Engage in hobbies and pastimes you enjoy, go out for coffee or lunch dates, or engage in any other activities with individuals who bring you joy and elevate your spirits.
Relaxing. It’s so important to designate time to care for your own mental health through whatever means is most helpful: exercise, meditation or prayer, music, yoga, spending time in nature or with pets. Taking care of yourself is a gift you give to your loved one; you are only able to provide the best care when you’re refreshed and strengthened.
Journaling. Starting a daily journal to track negative and positive experiences that you encounter with a loved one, how you reacted to those experiences, and what worked or didn’t work is a fantastic way to both serve as an outlet for your emotions and to offer you encouragement in the later stages of the disease.
Above all, remember that handling the responsibilities of caregiving for someone who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s necessitates a network of support, and is never a role that one person can play independently. Partnering with somebody skilled in specialized Alzheimer’s care, such as the caregiving team at Advanced Home Health Care, ensures the highest quality of care for the individual with dementia by providing necessary rest for family caregivers.
Contact us online or at 800.791.7785 for more Alzheimer’s disease resources and to learn more about our trusted hands-on assistance in Burlington, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, Mediapolis, and the surrounding areas.