If you are a child caring for your parent who has Alzheimer’s, odds are high that you experience tremendous stress and perhaps frustration. These feelings are normal for Alzheimers caregivers, and there are a few things to reduce your stress.
1. Be your own caregiver too.
While this may seem corny, you provide the best care to your parent when you yourself are in good shape. Make sure you get enough sleep at night and eat well. Do not be so busy taking your parent to the doctor that you neglect appointments for yourself. Exercise every day, even if it is a 30-minute walk or a short bout of gardening. Exercise is also an opportunity for time to yourself, which is important. Also, do not neglect your other ties. You need a support system as well.
2. Educate yourself.
Familiarize yourself with the resources available to Alzheimers caregivers, even if you think you will never want or need to use them. Some resources include at-home meal delivery, government programs and in-home help. There are also programs and classes you can take on caring with someone who has Alzheimer’s.
3. Use on-the-spot methods to relax.
- Visualize a place where you feel calm. It may be a beach or museum, for example.
- Meditate and try empty your head of all worries and thoughts.
- Practice conscious breathing and take deep breaths.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You can also reach out to support groups, whether in-person or virtual. There are also help lines such as the one run by The Alzheimer’s Association.
Bring in a professional caregiver. One great thing about caregiver agencies is that they will meet any need. If you think one night a week to yourself is all you want for now, great. An agency can work with that. Caregivers can provide extensive care and give tips on keeping your parent in the best shape possible.