According to the Alzheimer’s Association, caregivers face a lot of stress while taking care of their loved ones. Since it is important that the caregivers have the energy to tend to the needs of their patients, the AA released a special Caregiver’s Guide on how to Recognize and Manage Caregiver Stress.
The most common signs of caregiver stress are:
– Social withdrawal;
– Lack of concentration;
– Health problems.
Experts are recommending caregivers who are struggling with one or more of these symptoms to concentrate on their health and make sure that they are strong enough to perform their duties.
Me-Time Is Essential
Respite care, or professional care at a specialized institution, is always available when a caregiver feels a dire need for a break.
Experts found that many people caring for a relative struggling with Alzheimer’s are reluctant to seek for respite care as they are afraid that the patient will feel abandoned.
There is nothing shameful in needing some personal time. If caregivers refuse to take a break from performing their duties, they might end up resenting the patient, causing more harm in the long-run.
Know Your Limits
Stress can cause a variety of health problems from stomach irritation, blurred vision, and high blood pressure to irritation, and other behavior changes.
Doctors know that caregivers face a lot of stress, so they are recommending a healthy diet, plenty of exercises, and rest. Moreover, caregivers must pay attention to the signals sent by their bodies and seek medical attention as soon as they feel something is wrong.
It’s important to remember that ignoring symptoms might lead to severe mental or physical health issues.
Understand the Patient
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease. This means that the mental capacities of the patient slowly degenerate. With time, the symptoms change, the patient’s personality being affected.
Most family caregivers don’t know all the subtleties of the disease, this leading to a state of anger when the patient’s disease starts manifesting itself in different ways.
Doctors recommend family caregivers to educate themselves about the disease and learn all there is to learn about it so that they will know what to expect as the disorder advances.
Summing It Up
A healthy, stress-free caregiver knows when to ask for help and plan some personal time. The ideal caregiver is also an Alzheimer’s expert and is able to tell when his or her body needs help as well.
For more information, you can check out the pdf released by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Image source: Wikipedia
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