Caring for the Caregiver
As devastating as Alzheimer’s disease can be for the patient, it can be equally devastating for the caregiver. The impact of Alzheimer’s disease on those who are around the patient should not be minimized or overlooked. You devote a significant amount of time and energy to your care recipient. You, the caregiver, must find ways to care for yourself. Listed below are some tips that might be helpful:
- Patience and understanding are essential, both with yourself and your care recipient.
- Remember you may feel helpless; take one day at a time.
- Seek the support of other caregivers who may better understand your concerns and needs.
- Give yourself permission to grieve for the losses you experience, but also focus on the positive moments as they occur.
- Try to arrange time away from your caregiving responsibilities.
- Take care of your own medical, social and emotional needs.
- Remember to laugh and play…it’s critical to your well-being.
- Give yourself credit, not guilt!
Caregiver stress and burnout can result in an inappropriate and premature need for institutional care. For your own sake as a caregiver, be as informed as you can be. Know what community resources are available to you and use them. Finally, and most important, when caring for the Alzheimer’s patient, you must care for yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate – reach out for help. Until a cure is found, the progression of Alzheimer’s disease is inevitable. The care you provide does make a difference.
For more about caring for the caregiver and preventing caregiver burnout, click on the following links to other articles on our web site:
For information about community resources that may help Alzheimer’s caregivers, see the following:
Other parts of our caregiver web site may be helpful. Click on these for topics: