Caregivers who provide support and care for dementia patients face special challenges. Conditions such as Alzheimer's sometimes cause episodes that can stretch the limits of a caregiver's patience. To reduce stress, caregivers can try the following ideas.
Instead of trying to be a superhero and always be efficient, use the patient's nap time to take a break yourself. This isn't the time to clean up the kitchen or
pick up the room. Sit down and relax with a cup of tea, a magazine or another quiet distraction such as knitting. The rest of the chores can wait.
Join a Support Group
Friends and family members may get tired of hearing about your frustrations as a caregiver. It can help a lot to share your feelings with others who can understand firsthand what it's like to be in your shoes. Seek out and join a caregiver support group. Try to make at least one good friend in the group who you can chat with on a regular basis.
Dementia patients can be very like children sometimes. Imagining the patient as being a big child who needs your help can sometimes increase your patience with otherwise frustrating behavior. Also, try to remember your own frustrations as a child, and remember that the patient is likely feeling those same things now.
Use Unusual Activities
Because dementia patients are like kids at times, many of the same activities can entertain, relax and placate them. Try introducing unusual activities into their daily life, such as coloring with crayons, playing with Play-Doh, and in the case of female patients, dressing dolls.
Above all, remember your high worth and value as a caregiver. Feeling stres and sometimes depression is a normal part of the job. But by implementing some or all of these techniques, you'll be better able to perform one of the most important roles in the patient's overall care.