Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. In addition to taking care of a relative’s physical needs, there is also an emotional component to dealing with Alzheimer’s. Caregivers can easily get exhausted by the responsibilities and daily tasks. As a caregiver, it is essential that you take care of yourself, so you will be better able to tend to the needs of your loved one. Don’t leave yourself out of the care equation. You can give better care when your own needs are being met as well.
Alzheimer’s caregivers benefit greatly from doing the following:
- Learning as much about the disease as you can
- Asking questions of doctors, social workers and others involved in the care of your loved one
- Calling on friends or other family members for help when you need it
- Taking a break every day
- Spending time with your friends
- Taking care of your health by seeing your own doctors on schedule, eating healthy meals and getting exercise
- Joining a support group
- Making use of a local adult day center, if possible
Seek out assistance within your community and from family and friends. You do not have to do it alone! There are local and national organizations for Alzheimer’s care, treatment and research. Your local Alzheimer’s Association office can assist you with getting additional help and learning more about the disease.