The stress of caregiving can increase your risk for serious health issues, and many dementia carers report feeling depressed, stressed out, or even burned out. And almost all carers for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease go through periods of
despair, anxiety, loneliness, and tiredness.
Here’s how to reduce frustration and limit challenges:
- Plan Your Time – Create a daily schedule. Specific actions, like taking a bath or going to a doctor’s visit, are more straightforward when the person is most awake and rested. Give yourself some leeway for unplanned events or particularly trying days.
- Give It Some Time – Plan more time for tasks and be prepared for them to take longer than usual. Allow time between jobs for breaks.
- Include the Individual – Give the dementia patient as little help as possible so they can do as much as they can. For instance, if you put out clothes in the order they go on, they might be able to dress independently or set the table with visual clues.
- Give Options – Every day, offer a few, but not too many, possibilities. Provide them a choice between two clothing, inquire as to whether they prefer a hot or cold beverage, or whether they would prefer to take a walk or watch a movie.
- Give Clear Directions – People with dementia most easily understand clear, one-step communication.
- Take Only Brief Naps – Don’t take multiple or lengthy naps during the day. By doing so, the chance of getting days and nights switched around is reduced.
- Cut Back on the Noise – At mealtimes and during chats, turn off the TV and limit other distractions to help the dementia patient concentrate.