Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's or any form of dementia can be overwhelming at times. It can be emotionally, physically and mentally taxing. It can cause immense amounts of stress and exhaustion, and it is important for the caregiver to learn essential coping mechanisms to effectively combat caregiver stress and burnout. While there are support groups and seminars to attend to help with learning effective techniques and to meet others who can support you along your journey, there are several additional techniques that you can use on a regular basis to ensure maintaining your own health and well-being.
Signs of caregiver burnout and stress can include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Neglecting other responsibilities or leisurely activities
- Trouble concentrating on normal tasks
- Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
- Trouble unwinding or relaxing
- Decreased immunity, getting sick more often
Ways to combat caregiver burnout and stress:
- Look into respite care and/or day care that will allow you to maintain personal relationships and get out of the house.
- Share your feelings! Find a local support group that you can attend and talk with others who are in similar situations and can lend advice, a kind word, or occasional assistance.
- Find effective relaxation techniques and practice them daily. Meditation, deep-breathing and yoga can all be helpful with overwhelming feelings.
- Exercise! Even a few minutes a day, at home, can release endorphins and stimulate happiness.
- Eat well! Remember that nutrients keep the body healthy and keep immunity strong, even during times of stress, so eating a balanced diet is essential to keep you feeling less fatigued and to help boost natural immunity.
- KEEP YOUR OWN HEALTH A PRIORITY! Keep up on regular doctor visits, talk to your doctor about any recurring or bothersome symptoms you may be experiencing, and remember that YOU and YOUR HEALTH are important, too!!
Please join us the first Saturday of every month at Alcoeur Gardens Toms River location from 10am to 12pm for our Support Group, and register to attend our FREE Coping with Caregiver Stress Seminar on July 11th presented by Alzheimer's New Jersey® and hosted here at Alcoeur Gardens Toms River location. Please call 732-290-CARE for information on adult day care services, respite care services, residential care, support group information or coping seminars. We are here to help!