Taking Care of Yourself as a caregiver
Keeping yourself healthy is important so that you can continue to help the person you care for. That means staying healthy in body and mind. It is important to know that you do not have to do it all.
Getting help when you need it can help relieve some of your stress. Also, take notice of what your body is telling you. Do not take being tired, stressed or changes in your appetite too lightly.
Here are some more tips for staying healthy
Stick to a healthy diet Exercise See your doctor on a regular basis Get checked for stress and depression Rest whenever you can Let others help you Talk about your feelings with others Know that you are not alone
Stress and Depression among Caregivers
More than 80 per cent of caregivers say they have high levels of stress and nearly half said they suffer from depression. It is common for caregivers to ignore their own needs, but before you can take care of others you must take care of yourself. Know the signs of stress and ask for help as often as you need it.
some of the warning signs to look for:
Denial Anger Social withdrawal Anxiety Depression Exhaustion Sleeplessness Irritability Lack of concentration Health problems If you are a caregiver who is having stress symptoms fairly often, you should see a doctor.
Ways to Reduce Caregiver Stress:
Get in contact with helpful resources in your community.
Learn all you can about Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving techniques.
Get help from family, friends and your community.
Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep.
Know what you can do and what you cannot.
Give yourself credit for what to do.
Family and friends can play a big part in your caregiving if you let them. If they offer to help, let them. If they do not offer, ask them to help. You can also find out about the local resources in your area that can help you give care. This article was written by Pamelia Brereton, president of the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association.