Taking Care of Yourself

Imagine the pain of watching someone you love lose his or her short-term memory. Seeing someone who was once vibrant and active now having trouble completing the simplest of tasks is difficult for anyone. People who have loved ones and family members with Alzheimer’s must be sure to take good care of themselves. Alzheimer’s also takes its toll on the caregivers and loved ones of those who are suffering from the disease.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s requires time and energy. It can be both physically and emotionally draining. Of course, those who have a family member with Alzheimer’s generally do all they can to help the person they love. Taking care of that person is not a burden, but it does take a toll on the caregivers. It is not easy to see someone you love suffering. Individuals often feel helpless as they see the memories and cognitive abilities of the Alzheimer’s patient begin to decline.

In order to be able to make the best decisions and to provide the best care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it is essential for family member to take good care of their own health and well being. Family members must share in the responsibilities. If a parent has Alzheimer’s for example, all children must do what they can to care for their parents. When the duties are left primarily to one person, that individual can quickly get burned out.

It is important for the caregivers to know that it is okay to ask for and accept help when family members are afflicted with Alzheimer’s. There are times when the responsibility becomes too much for one or even a couple family members to handle on their own. Everyone is usually balancing the care of their loved one along with their own jobs and families. Hiring a home health aid to come in a few times a week is one helpful solution. Looking into adult day care a few times a week is another possibility. There are ways that family members can receive help without needing to consider a long-term care community.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s easily takes an emotional toll on a person. Caregivers struggle with the responsibility of caring for their family member along with the sadness of seeing their loved one in poor health. It is never easy for a son or daughter to realize that a parent does not always recognize his or her own child. Individuals are saddened to see a loved one struggle to remember how to complete everyday tasks. Those who have a family member with Alzheimer’s should consider joining a support group. This can help individuals to share their experiences, feelings and fears with others who understand what it is like to have a family member with Alzheimer’s.

Those who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s definitely must take some time for themselves. They need to schedule time each day and each week when they can relax and take a break. People often feel guilty about the time they spend away from their loved one (other than the times they are with their family or at work). However, this time for one’s self is important. Taking care of one’s own health and wellness is essential so that the person can stay in good health in order to take care of oneself, family members, and a loved one with Alzheimer’s.