When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease there will almost certainly be issues relating to family relationships. First, normal roles change. A son suddenly becomes his mother’s caregiver, reversing their lifelong roles. Over time, a couple’s relationship changes as caregiving becomes the priority. Life plans, retirement plans, all the things you put off for the future, those things change and may in fact disappear completely. Roles of the caregiver change within their own family as well; a caregiver’s children may feel infringed upon when Grampa needs mom’s constant attention and focus. Continue reading “Family Dynamics – Facing a New Normal, Together” »
For caregivers, just like being proactive is helpful in reducing mental stress, thinking preventatively is a vital step to ensure your physical well-being. Caregivers often forget there are inherent dangers to themselves and their loved ones while performing the physical demands of care. Lifting in particular, can be hazardous for your back, and unsafe should you hurt someone while moving them about. Daily care training is available. Along with considering your physical limitations, prioritize your own health when evaluating your overall caregiving needs. Continue reading “Taking Care of You – Part 2: The Physical You” »
As a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s disease you will likely hear many words of advice that start or end with, “don’t forget to take care of yourself.” Hmmmm.. .supportive advice, but sometimes easier said than done. To be candid, depending on your situation, taking care of yourself may in fact be an ongoing challenge. But you can do some small things along the way to help yourself and your overall family. In the next few blog posts we will talk about ways to take care of the “Mental You”, the “Physical You” and even the “Guilty You”.
The Mental You
As a caregiver, one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to be as proactive as possible. Hearing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming in itself, but having to react to ongoing unknowns and constant surprises are much worse. Educate yourself on everything possible, starting with the disease and its progression. Continue reading “Taking Care of You – Part 1: The Mental You” »
It’s National Caregivers Month and we’re on a roll talking about common caregiving challenges. Many of you know Angie, who blogs about her experience caring for her husband who has Early Stage, Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.
Her latest blog is a great example of this week’s topic, caregiver stress management:
In my support group we sometimes talk about the often heard phrase, “take time to take care of you.” The biggest questions for me are: How? When? Between work, church, family and John; I barely have time to make sure my toenails are polished.
But the conversation made me think, do I take care of myself? I’ve tried different things: a gratitude journal, meditation, the gym, food, drink. All had their pros and cons. As a writer, I liked the idea of the journal. The premise was simple, just jot down five things a day. Seemed easy enough, but after a few weeks I was circling around the same things. I couldn’t keep it fresh, so I got bored. Continue reading ““I barely have time to make sure my toenails are polished.”” »