Caregiver burnout is extremely common in those caring for a loved one who has dementia. If you can identify with different symptoms such as frustration, worry, fear, hopelessness, or sleeplessness, it’s vital to take action. Though your life has become wrapped up in caring for the patient, taking time to make sure your own physical and emotional needs are being met is also crucial. In the previous article on coping with caregiver burnout, we looked at the benefits of community resources, support groups, relaxation techniques, and maintaining a physical exercise routine. This article will offer even more helpful advice for those seeking effective coping strategies.
1. Learn more about Dementia
It may seem easier to try to block out anything having to do with this dreaded condition your loved one is suffering from, but nothing could be further from the truth. The less you know and understand about the disease, the more frightened and bewildered you will likely be when you and your loved one are facing new symptoms as their condition progresses. It’s actually much better for you emotionally to be prepared through reading up on dementia from reputable sources and asking the patient’s doctor plenty of questions. The more you know, the more equipped you’ll be to deal with the day-to-day challenges of caregiving. You can even learn proven strategies for responding to the patient’s behavioral and mental changes.
2. Spend Time on Self Care
If you don’t have a moment of time to yourself, it’s vitally important for you to find a way to make that time, even if it means enlisting professional daycare assistance for your loved one with dementia. Not only can it improve your outlook on life, but it can also make things better for the patient as it will help you to be less stressed when you go back to caregiving after getting a much-needed break. Make sure to secure safe respite care for your loved one, then take a whole day or more doing what you enjoy most.
3. Keep Up with Your Own Health Care Needs
It can be easy to become so focused on the patient that you forget to go to the doctor for your own health checkups, or you neglect to rest and eat a balanced diet. Making your own health a priority will help you to have the energy you need to care for your loved one.
4. Plan for the Future
Make sure to meet with close loved ones of the patient as soon as you know the diagnosis and talk about the patient’s continuing care, finances, and other future decisions. It would be extremely helpful to consult with an attorney who is familiar with elder care laws about any legal paperwork you’ll need to fill out.
If you feel overwhelmed by the constant responsibility and discouragement of caring for a loved one with dementia, you’re not alone. Making preparations for the future, staying on top of your own health needs, learning ways to care for yourself, and educating yourself about dementia are key ways you can learn to lessen the negative effects of caregiver burnout.
Home Care Helpers, Statesville, NC
If you or someone you care about would like to find out more about the exceptional services we have to offer to clients in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman and the surrounding areas in North Carolina, we’d be happy to meet with you. Visit our website at HomeCareHelpers.net. Give us a call today at (704) 810-1924 to learn more.