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Caring for carers

Dealing with stress

    • Laugh together

      A sense of humour can help get you through many situations. Although your circumstances can be difficult laughter can lift everyone’s spirits. Some families find sharing their common experiences with other families affected by Alzheimer’s disease may also help.

    • Rest whenever possible

      The most common reason for tiredness and exhaustion is not getting enough rest. Your behaviour can affect the person who you are caring for so when you feel rested and well, the person you care for may manage and feel better too.

    • Make time for friends

      Keeping in touch with friends, or even making new friends, is an essential way to keep up your spirits. Having someone you can confide in or who can help out or offer support is very important so don’t isolate yourself. Make an effort to meet, e-mail or call your friends regularly.

    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

      Caring is an emotionally and physically demanding role. If one person is the main carer it is important that others are also able to share their burden when possible. Reach out to your support network of family, friends and healthcare professionals. They may be able to help in different ways from providing care assistance, encouragement or even financial help if needed.

    • Hold a family meeting

      Getting family members together is an opportunity to discuss the future care of your loved one. Some families may find this a useful way to deal with issues such as money or the amount of time people are able to contribute to help with care. This can also ensure that everyone feels involved and that the burden of taking care of a loved one doesn’t fall on just one person.

    • Get creative

      When was the last time you looked at paintings in a museum or sang songs around a piano? Art and music therapy has been shown to be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease and can be a relaxing activity you can both enjoy and do together.

    • Talk to people in similar situations

      Make friends with other carers or join a support group. Many people find this a very rewarding environment where they can share their concerns, get helpful advice and meet people they can relate to who understand what they are going through. Support groups can offer suggestions on how to cope and just hearing how someone else deals with similar problems may help. People may attend from all ages and backgrounds including adults, children, spouses, carers and healthcare professionals.

    • Get additional help if needed

      Everyone is different and deals with challenges or problems in their own way. If you feel overwhelmed by your situation counselling can be a great help. Talking to a trained person is one good way to help you feel less pressured and talk about how you feel.

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