How Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Affects You

You remember seeing the signs. But soon, the little things progressively became undeniable. When the doctor’s diagnosis came back as Alzheimer’s disease, you were stunned. The task now is caring for your loved one. Specialists and caregivers will tell you, this is not easy. Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss affect not only the person diagnosed; it can be especially difficult for the primary caregiver.

“Caring for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be rewarding and challenging,” The Alzheimer’s Society explains. “The needs of the person often come before your own and this means that you struggle to manage everything.” The caregiver must learn healthy ways to cope and care for themselves. Many who are new to caring for a loved one will feel a range of emotions. There are good days that are filled with hope. Unfortunately, there are also not so good days that can be racked with guilt.

There are many simple ways to help cope with the emotional stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to remember that you also need to care for yourself. Perhaps the easiest method is simply taking a break. Little and longer breaks will help renew and refresh you. “It can be difficult to find time for yourself when you are caring for a person with dementia.” The Alzheimer’s Society explains, “It is important to take breaks and continue to do things that you enjoy so you don’t become overwhelmed.” Taking breaks will also encourage you to lean on others for support. That may mean asking family, friends, or finding a memory care that provides respite. Either way, it will reinforce that you are not alone.

It is also important to look after your own health. Many caregivers will focus solely on their loved one’s needs and ignore their own. In order to properly care for your loved one, you also need to be physically and mentally healthy. Taking breaks and reinforcing a healthy lifestyle are great at creating a positive and encouraging environment. But you may need additional support. This is where support groups come in. Here you will meet others that are facing similar challenges.

“Often times, we hear caregivers say they are looking for support from people who ‘really understand because they’ve been there, too,’” The Alzheimer’s Association explains. “An Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group offers just that – a safe place for caregivers, family and friends to meet and develop a mutual support system.”

For information on support groups, day stay, respite, or long term memory care contact Arbor Hills in Plano at (972) 509-8905 or Saddle Brook in Frisco at (214) 494-4264.

Submitted By:  Arbor Hills & Saddle Brook

Phone Number: (972) 509-8905 Arbor Hills & (214) 494-4264 Saddle Brook

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