High levels of stress and anxiety are reported by nearly 20 percent of caregivers, according to the Canadian Public Health Association. If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, providing care can be even more stressful despite the inherent rewards that go along with caring for someone you love. While every situation is different, there are some steps you can and should take to ease stress and anxiety as much as possible if you’re an Alzheimer’s caregiver.
Learn More about Your Loved One’s Condition
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease with various stages. The extent of care you’ll need to provide will depend on which stage your loved one is in and how well he or she is functioning. One way to ease stress and anxiety as the condition advances is to have regular discussions with your loved one’s doctor so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.
One of the most important things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Brush Up on Caregiving Techniques
Caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s can be stressful when you’re not sure how to handle certain situations. For instance, knowing how to address mood swings can help you learn not to take such behavior personally. Books, workshops, online forums, training resources, and your loved one’s doctor can all be reliable sources of caregiving information.
Join a Support Group
Connecting with other caregivers, either in person or online, gives you a chance to share common experiences and express concerns and frustrations in a constructive way. This is also an effective way to reduce the feelings of isolation and fear that often contribute to stress and anxiety as you provide ongoing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Ask for Help
Nobody expects you to be capable of doing everything as a caregiver. Even accepting help with mundane but time-consuming tasks such as grocery shopping and housecleaning can give you a chance to de-stress and spend more quality time with your loved one.
A trained Alzheimer’s caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for family caregivers. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Vancouver families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Take Time for Your Own Care
You’ll be more likely to feel the impact of stress and anxiety if you ignore your own care needs. Even setting aside a couple of hours each day just for yourself and your needs can do wonders for your overall wellbeing. Also, be just as diligent about doctor appointments and health screenings for yourself as you are for your loved one.
Find Ways to Exercise & Relax
Exercise is a natural mood booster because of the increased production of hormones called endorphins. This is a benefit you can enjoy by simply taking short walks for 15-20 minutes when you take breaks throughout your day. Simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can be equally helpful.
Use Available Resources
Helpful resources can include simply being able to confide in a friend or family member. You may also be better able to minimize stress and anxiety if you take advantage of care-related resources that include:
• Senior transportation services that allow you to free up some of your time
• In-home care provided on an as-needed basis so you can get a professional helping hand
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to handle without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Vancouver Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634.