When you’re a caregiver to an aging family member who has Alzheimer’s disease, you’re also caring for yourself. If you neglect this aspect, you’re not going to be able to maintain your responsibilities as a caregiver for very long.
Focus on Your Own Support System
If you don’t already have a support system specifically for you, it’s time to establish one. Talk to friends and family who have been in a similar situation and let them know you need support. If you don’t have access to friends and family, join a support group. You have to be able to talk to people who understand.
Ask for Help When You Need It
You’re not being brave if you’re putting off asking for help. What you’re really doing is putting way too much stress on yourself and giving yourself obstacles that you don’t need to have. Learn how to ask for and accept help when you need it.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting rest when you’re tired just makes sense. Keep in mind that this refers to both physically being tired and being emotionally tired. When you need rest and time away, take it. You do neither yourself nor your elderly family member any good by trying to soldier through and push on when you need the rest.
Remove Ego from the Caregiving Experience
There are definitely going to be times in which you feel that the situation you’re in is personal. Your elderly family member might react to you in a certain way or you might simply feel as if you’re being punished. Keep in mind that this is not the case. Do what you can to remove your ego from this equation so that you can stay objective.
Try to Find the Humor in Everyday Situations
Taking every situation seriously is not healthy for you. You need to be able to laugh as a caregiver and find the humor in your daily life. You might be out of practice, but it’s time to get laughing again.
Above all, don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing the absolute best that you can in the situation that you and your aging family members are in.