Caregiver burnout is a common problem among caregivers who provide dementia care because they often don’t get the caregiver support they need.
Getting Help with Caregiver Support
Family members may be able to provide you with the dementia caregiver support you need in order to be a long-term caregiver. If your loved one is still in the early stages of living with dementia, this is a perfect opportunity to sit down with family members and friends to discuss a dementia care plan. Even if you assume the majority of dementia care yourself, make sure you delegate enough tasks so you will have plenty of breaks from dementia care.
If you’ve been caring for a loved one with dementia for some time with very little caregiver support, your family may not realize you need help. Talk to them and be honest about your needs. Although some people may not feel comfortable providing dementia care directly, let them know it would be just as helpful if they would help you out with household tasks, such as cutting the grass. This would free up more of your time for caregiving.
If you don’t have family members you can rely on, consider enlisting professional home care or respite care services from the hospital or a local organization.
Take Time Away from Dementia Care
Take time away from dementia care to tend to your own mental and physical health. Several times a week, do something that rejuvenates you, such as going out with friends, shopping or taking a walk. Experts also suggest that you should make sure you devote some of your time and attention to eating a proper diet and getting regular exercise.
Many caregivers feel guilty leaving their loved ones at home while they go out and enjoy themselves, but in order to take care of your loved one, you need to take care of yourself. It’s simply impossible for one person to provide constant, round-the-clock dementia care without help.
Dementia Caregiver Support Groups
Dementia caregiver support groups are a wonderful resource for the caregiver. They provide the opportunity for you to exchange care tips and resources with other dementia caregivers who know what you’re going through. Talking with someone who understands all the emotional ups and downs of being a caregiver can be an enormous encouragement.
Clinical Tools, Inc. (2010). Care for caregivers: Dealing with stress, finding support. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/580
Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. (2011). Caregiving. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from http://www.alzinfo.org/treatment-care/caregiving
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2011). Caregivers: In depth. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caregivers/MY00395/TAB=indepth