Advice for the First-Time, Newly Minted Alzheimer's Caregiver
Last updated: April 2022
What would be my first piece of advice for caring for a person diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, other than just keep swimming? Well, I cannot tell you what to do with your loved one who has Alzheimer's. But, the most important first bit of advice - take care of yourself.
You are going to need strength and patience for years on end, so make sure that you're taking time for yourself now and then.
Manage your day-to-day life
You can manage your life so that it feels less overwhelming.
Eat healthy food, go for walks in nature and talk with friends or family members; these things will help you feel refreshed during moments when caring for a loved one seems like an impossible task!
Being positive about our situation helps us take care of our mental health better than anything else could ever do. There's nothing more important than taking each day as it comes.
No matter what happens tomorrow is another opportunity to learn something new.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and ask for help from friends, family members, or professionals. It's okay to take a break every once in a while and recharge your batteries. You will need it!
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease is not an easy task by any means, but it can be rewarding if you take care of yourself along the way.
Stick to your routine as much as possible
One of the best ways for me to get through my day-to-day life is by following a strict routine.
For example, I found that for me to feel my best, it was important to have a consistent routine of working out and meditating before giving care to my mom.
Another tip? Whenever possible I try not to miss breakfast before beginning my care responsibilities. Prioritizing my basic needs plays an important role when it comes down to giving quality care to my loved one with dementia.
One caveat to note is to stay flexible with your routine while caring for another person. Of course, it is important to recognize that life happens but staying consistent with your self-care is crucial in the caregiving role.
Stay positive and motivated about your self-care
It's not an easy task by any means, but staying positive, following a routine and taking care of yourself are all important aspects of being a successful caregiver.
Follow these three pillars for success:
- Stay positive - your mood determines how you will feel about the day ahead.
- Stick to a routine - schedules help us maintain structure which helps.
- Take care of yourself - take a break when you need it and take care of yourself!
Remember, you are not alone in this journey! There are many caregivers out there who understand what you're going through and are more than happy to offer support.
Reach out to them in our community forum when you need it. I hope this article offered some helpful advice and insight into the world of caregiving. If you have any questions or would like to share your own thoughts or experiences, please leave a comment below!
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