Around 15 million people in the United States are caregivers to older adults with dementia. If you’re one of them, you know how challenging being a caregiver to someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be. It can be overwhelming and take up all your time, energy, and emotional resources. Whether you know it or not, you’re probably a great caregiver. Still, it never hurts to look for ways to make the job a little easier and yourself even better at it. Below are 4 tips that can improve your experience as an Alzheimer’s caregiver.
#1: Learn to Ask for and Accept Help
If you’re like many caregivers, you probably rarely say yes when someone asks you if you could use some help. You also aren’t likely to ask for help, either. However, when you try to take on too much, you may burn yourself out and become ill. If you’re not taking time for yourself and are neglecting your own health, it’s time to get some help. Talk to friends and family members about taking on some of the tasks involved. A family member may cover a day or two per week on the senior’s care calendar. Others might be willing to cook a meal now and then, go grocery shopping, or spend an hour or two with the senior while you take a nap.
#2: Establish a Daily Routine
Older adults with Alzheimer’s disease are more comfortable when they follow a predictable daily routine. It can also make caregiver tasks easier. When you move through a routine, you’ll get faster at certain tasks. In addition, it will help you to know what times of the day the older adult functions better so you can schedule more difficult things, like medical appointments or baths, for those times of the day.
#3: Learn New Skills
If you became a caregiver suddenly, you probably didn’t have a chance to learn some of the skills involved. Perhaps you didn’t have time to research Alzheimer’s either. Taking a class for caregivers can improve your skills. You may be able to find one by contacting local organizations that serve seniors, such as the senior center. You can also spend some time reading books or doing online research.
#4: Allow for Independence
Letting your aging relative do as much for themselves as they can relieves some of the work of being a caregiver. In addition, it gives them a sense of control and keeps them active, which can reduce unwanted behaviors.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver in West University Place, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338.Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.