Caring for a person with dementia can be both rewarding and challenging. The needs of the person may often come before your own and this can mean that you struggle to manage everything. Carers also have their own physical and mental health needs, which can be overlooked when caring for a person with dementia.
Maintaining good health and emotional well being will also help you in your caring role and in continuing your relationship with the person you care for. Different carers will also have different expectations of their role as a carer (e.g a spouse or a young carer).
Carers often say that they feel guilty for thinking about themselves when they are caring for a person with dementia. Being able to address these feelings is important, as they can affect your well being.
You can get different types of support from different places:
- Friends and family can provide a variety of support, both emotional and practical. Being able to talk to them about the situation and how you are feeling may help.
- GPs, counsellors and other professionals can offer support.
- Local support groups are available in many areas and are a great source of support and information.
Stress and Coping
It is important to talk over your feelings. The Western Alzheimers have personnel trained in all aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimers disease and will also arrange get-togethers with other carers in the same situation.
Sharing the burden and hearing about other people’s experiences can help a lot.
Each person responds to crises, demands and pressures of caring in their own way.
It is important to remember – you are not alone.
- Talk to us in Western Alzheimers
- Look for help from family members
- Join a support group
Providing care for a person with dementia can be an overwhelming experience that is often physically and emotionally exhausting. Looking after yourself is key to being able to provide ongoing care. We encourage carers to try to structure some dedicated “time out” each week in order to stay fit and healthy.
- Go for regular walks
- Watch your diet
- Keep in contact with friends
- Do an activity you enjoy – e.g read a book, go shopping, etc.