Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease impacts every aspect of daily life. As Alzheimer’s patients lose one ability after another, caregivers face tests of stamina, problem-solving, and resiliency. During this long and difficult journey, communication diminishes, rewards decrease, and without strong support, caretakers face challenges to their own well-being.
Maintaining emotional and physical fitness is crucial. Preparing and protecting yourself, working to understand your loved one’s experience, and embracing help from others can minimize the hazards and enhance the joys of your caregiving experience.
Balancing the enormous task of caring for a cognitively impaired adult with your other responsibilities requires skill, attention, and diligent planning. Fortunately, many professionals and caregivers have developed a wealth of resources to help you prioritize your efforts and provide effective care.
Planning for your own care is also vitally important. It is easy to abandon the other people and activities you love when you’re mired in caregiving, but you risk your health and peace of mind by doing so. Though your caregiver’s journey is full of the unexpected, learning to protect, reflect, and connect can reveal surprising opportunities to meet your needs and nurture your sense of satisfaction.
When caregiving is difficult and over-whelming, you may feel totally alone. However, current counts suggest that as many as 10 million others are also providing care to someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia!
Maintaining social contacts, family connections, professional networks, and peer support is an important safeguard for your wellness and happiness. Sharing tasks, solving problems, and savoring the humor along your caretaking journey will let you return to a life filled with good health and cherished memories.