Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s has its unique set of challenges that only others in the same situation can truly understand. Caregivers can face overwhelming emotions, exhaustion or even financial complications to name a few. And then there are the questions caregivers often have about the disease, treatment and caring for the patient. At the same time, caregivers rarely have time to care for themselves, let alone seek support on many of these issues.
However it is important for caregivers to get help – both for themselves and for the Alzheimer’s patient. Doing so can help reduce stress and fatigue.
Don’t let lack of time stop you from seeking help or support from others. Family members, friends and especially others in similar situations can all help in some way. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association has these tips for managing Alzheimer’s caregiver stress:
- Learn about resources that may be available, from adult day programs, in-home care or even meal delivery services.
- Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises or yoga.
- Get physical activity for at least 10 minutes per day. This can be as simple as taking a short walk.
- Make time for yourself. It’s difficult, but scheduling even a 30 minutes a week to check in with friends or do an activity you enjoy can make a difference.
- Be educated about Alzheimer’s, how it progresses and any new skills it may require from you as a caregiver (The new support group below will be helpful here).
- Take care of yourself by going to the doctor regularly, eating healthfully, getting exercise and plenty of rest.
Busy caregivers now also have an option to call in to a support group to find the help they need and save time. Botsford Commons Senior Community, the Alzheimer’s Association and Senior Helpers are sponsoring a Dial-In Alzheimer’s Support Group the first Tuesday of every month at 12:00 PM.
Callers can ask questions about Alzheimer’s, talk to other caregivers, learn new ways to help loved ones and call in from any city on their lunch break.
For more information about the Dial–In Alzheimer’s Support Group, including dial-in instructions, please call Senior Helpers at (248) 865-1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.