Balancing Alzheimer’s care with your other responsibilities requires skill, attention and careful planning. At Vista Grande Villa, we’ve assembled a little insider advice specifically for caregivers like you to help prepare for future challenges, reduce stress and maximize the rewards of providing the loving support and care your loved one needs.
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: Commonsense Caregiver Advice
Request Help. If you ask, you’ll find family members, friends and volunteer organizations often are eager to offer assistance—even if it’s just tackling mundane tasks like grocery shopping and cleaning—to free you up to spend more quality time caregiving. When someone offers to help, let them!
Boost Your Caregiving Skills. Unfortunately, when a physician delivers an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it doesn’t come with a caregiver instruction manual. There are, however, books, workshops and online training resources to help. You can learn about treatment, behavior management, disease progression and challenges—along with ways of coping.
Join a Support Group. Other people have been in your shoes. If nothing else, Alzheimer’s and dementia support groups offer the comfort of knowing you’re not alone. Connect with others and learn from their experiences—people who understand first-hand what you’re going through and can help reduce feelings of isolation, fear and hopelessness.
Tap Into Available Resources. You’ll find the Alzheimer’s Association offers a wealth of informational resources, help and support. Their South Central Region office in Ann Arbor can also put you in touch with support groups and provide advice and training for caregivers and families. Simply visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
Practice Stress-Management. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise and yoga can help reduce stress and boost your mood and energy levels. Finding ways to combat the stress of caring for a loved one with dementia is essential because, while rewarding, it’s also likely to be one of the most stressful undertakings of your life.
Care for Yourself. Make time for regular doctor checkups and pay attention to signs and symptoms of excessive stress. It doesn’t make sense to risk your own health and peace of mind. Take an occasional break from caregiving to maintain friendships, professional contacts and hobbies and interests that make you happy.
Support us in the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s! At Vista Grande Villa, we’re participating in the Alzheimer’s Association walk on Friday, September 14 in Jackson.
Want to help?
You can make a donation to support our efforts to “Take the first step to a world without Alzheimer’s.” Just visit the online donation site.