Tips for Alzheimer's Caregivers on How to Beat Stress and Practice Self-Care
Caring for a senior who is living with Alzheimer’s disease — a type of dementia defined as a progressive brain disease that leads to the deterioration of cognitive function — can be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting, which means it is essential that caregivers learn how to shift the focus onto themselves once in a while.
Finding ways to relax, take a rest, and get your mind and body in good shape will allow you to be the best you can be when it comes to caring for your patient or loved one, and it will keep stress and symptoms of anxiety or depression at bay. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to turn your dreams of self-care into a reality.
Boosting your healthcare coverage
November is a great time to make changes to your healthcare plan, since open enrollment is underway (and it just happens to coincide with National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and National Family Caregivers Month), so take a look at your coverage to make sure you have everything you need. If you are a senior and are already enrolled in Medicare, consider bumping your existing plan up to an Advantage plan. There are several benefits, including access to wellness programs that will keep you healthy and fit.
Keeping your body healthy
Being a caregiver can take a toll on your body, so it’s important to keep yourself in shape. This typically means a well-rounded diet and exercise routine, but many adults don’t realize the importance of the right multivitamin and how much it can add to a health regimen. The right vitamins will not only improve your mood and energy levels, but they can also ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients. Talk to your doctor about the right vitamin for your specific needs.
Taking a time-out
You may have a very busy schedule that doesn’t allow for a vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a break when you need one. In fact, pushing yourself too hard can be detrimental to your health in various ways. Make time for yourself when you can, thinking about how you can work a time-out into your week. Whether it’s a day-trip to another city, a weekend camping excursion, or just some quiet time when you can read or meditate, finding moments just for yourself is crucial for your mental health. If you are currently caring for a loved one who requires round-the-clock attention, you might start by simply stepping outside for a few minutes several times a day. Fresh air and sunshine can work wonders for your mood and can even help to stave off the effects of depression and other mood disorders.
Finding some support
Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can be emotionally exhausting, and it can also come with feelings of isolation. That’s why it’s important to find support where you can. That might mean talking to loved ones and friends about your experiences, staying in touch with them via communication apps like Skype, or joining a support group (either online or in person) that can connect you with like-minded caregivers who are going through similar experiences.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or your loved one’s situation becomes too difficult to manage, it may be time to look into memory care through ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Consider scheduling a consultation or a tour to find out more about how ProHealth Regency Senior Communities can help your loved one.
Being a caregiver is a tough job, and it often comes with unexpected issues that can leave you feeling stressed or anxious. By taking care of your mind and body, you can ensure that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way so you can be the best version of yourself possible.