Tips to Better Manage Caregiver Stress

Tips to Better Manage Caregiver Stress

Caregivers face enormous stress, and often times, they aren’t sure how to handle it or manage it appropriately. In our live event held March 20, 2013, we discussed with Alzheimer’s expert, Dr. Amy D’Aprix, the challenges that family caregivers face when helping a loved one through the elder care process. Here are the stress relieving tips that Dr. D’Aprix offers family caregivers:

How does a caregiver take care of themselves? I have to take care of my mom with Alzheimer’s and a newer marriage–my husband does not the patience to deal with caregiving.

Dr. Amy D’Aprix: Teresa – Congratulations on your new marriage! Balancing that and a mom with Alzheimer’s disease is a tough road. It is hard to speak specifically to how you can take care of yourself without knowing your exact situation. However, there are some general things I can recommend –

1. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. You need a supportive team of people who can help you. This can be other family members, friends, paid professionals, or even volunteers. The situation with your mom will change over time and therefore you will need different help at different times.

2. Make sure that you take time for just you as well as you and your husband.

3. Again, this means that you will need someone else to assist with the care. It is also likely you will have lots of emotions as you are going through this process with your mom. Make sure you have someone you can talk with. This could be a good friend and it could also be a support group. Getting a break and having someone to talk to are key to taking care of yourself.

4. Finally, make sure you get educated about the best ways to handle different issues as they arise. You might want to check out helpforalzheimersfamilies.com for useful information as well as your local Alzheimer’s Association. They will also have support group information.

Dr. D’Aprix also suggests: Start with the basics. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a good diet, getting some exercise, and keeping up with your medical appointments. Many many caregivers stop doing these things when caring for someone and they eventually find it impacts their health.

If you find you are too busy to do these basics, make sure that you explore getting some help in caring for your husband so that you can have some time for yourself. If you can hire some help from a home care company, they can give you a break a few hours a day or week. Also there are day programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease you might want to explore. If you are unable to afford either of those options, you might want to call the Adult Services Unit of the County Dept of Social Services and ask them to assess whether or not you are eligible for services.

Read the full live chat via script: Coping with Stress.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

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