Some of the busiest people working today are Alzheimer’s caregivers, and not just because of their caregiving duties. Most Alzheimer’s caregivers work long hours at fulltime jobs, take the kids to afterschool activities, make a stop by the grocery store on the way home, and prepare dinner for the family on top of their caregiving responsibilities. But when do they have time to just relax? As an Alzheimer’s caregiver, it can often feel like your day never ends, and stress and lack of sleep can wear down both your body and mind. Caregiver burnout is a real and very serious condition that can lead to, among other things, degrading health, depression, feelings of isolation and emotional outbursts, often directed at the person for whom you’re providing care.
To avoid caregiver burnout, it’s vital to carve out some time to care for yourself. HelpGuide.org offers these simple tips that can fit into even the most overwhelming days and can energize Alzheimer’s caregivers against excessive stress:
- Schedule short bursts of exercise throughout the day: Regular exercise not only keeps a person fit, it releases endorphins that keep a person happy. Take a ten-minute walk or do a short workout video on YouTube to help keep fit and happy.
- Engage in some playtime: Depending on the stage of Alzheimer’s disease, loved ones should be included in fun activities like family gatherings, games or jigsaw puzzles. A daily dose of fun is great for both the caregiver and the patient.
- Try something new: Senior caregivers should challenge themselves to learn something new while “on the job.” Pop in your headphones and listen to a foreign language learning podcast or read a book while your loved one is napping. Actively learning something new strengthens mental muscles and releases harmful steam.
- Laugh everyday: Humor is a well-known antidote to stress, sadness, and anxiety. Watch your favorite sitcom or call up an old friend and just be silly. Caregivers should even give themselves permission to laugh at the absurdities they and their loved one experience.
- Ask for help: Alzheimer’s caregivers face many challenges throughout the day, many of which can be completely overwhelming. When it feels like too much, ask for help from family, friends, or a trusted California home care provider, like Hillendale Home Care.
For further tips on caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, click here.
At Hillendale Home Care of Walnut Creek, CA, we can ensure your loved one is well cared for when you need to find some me time. Contact us today to learn about how our in-home care services can help you live a more stress-free life.