Sadly, stress is usually a part of caring for an elder with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association stated that caregivers have often reported feeling high levels of stress. By not dealing with the stress, you are at risk for having it affect your life, body, and mind. You are especially at risk from suffering from caregiver burnout and depression.
The first step in dealing with caregiver stress is to recognize the symptoms. If you are exhibiting any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor as soon as possible in order to come up with a solution to the problem.
Anger: You may be feeling angry because your loved one is no longer able to do all of the things they used to by themselves. As a result, they need you or their caregivers to help.
Denial: Not being able to accept the health or diagnoses of your aging parent.
Becoming isolated: Withdrawing from social events or no longer participating in activities you used to enjoy.
Anxiety: Constantly worrying over what events will occur the next day and when the elder will require more help than you are able to give.
Fatigue: Exhaustion can make it very difficult to accomplish any of the tasks your loved one depends on you for.
Problems sleeping: Your mind may constantly be racing with worrisome thoughts over how you can care for the senior.
There are several other symptoms to watch for, so inform your doctor if there are any physical or emotional problems that are making it difficult to go on with your day.
Stress Management Tips
Research respite care. Taking a break from caregiving may be exactly what you need. Respite care may be available to you, which involves a professional home care provider taking your place, while you get the rest and relaxation you need.
Learn relaxation techniques. Learning to relax on-the-job is a skill you will be glad you had when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Some techniques that may help are meditation, guided imagery, and deep breathing.
Exercise. Staying physically active can do wonderful things for both your physical and mental wellness. Endorphins are released during exercise, which will provide positive feelings that can help reduce stress and brighten your mood.
Do not ignore your own health. Although much of your time is spent with the elder, it is still important that you make the right choices for your health. A wholesome diet, daily exercise, and plenty of rest are all crucial in order to keep you alert and healthy.