- Become an educated caregiver: Some useful sites for educating yourself are the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. Also, attend any caregiving seminars presented in your community.
- Ask for help – and accept it: Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Getting help can make a major difference in your life.
- Take care of yourself: Try to eat well, exercise regularly and visit your doctor when needed.
- Give yourself credit – not guilt: Make a list of all the things you are doing correctly and look at it frequently.
- Consult a geriatric care manager: Geriatric care managers are specialists who help families care for elderly relatives. They can provide valuable information and resources you will need to help you through these difficult times.
- Contact the Alzheimer’s Association for help: The Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) has a 24/7 help line. Just call 1-800-272-3900.
- Contact the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America for help: This organization (alzfdn.org) has a help line operated between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Call 1-866-232-8484.
- Study and put into practice “The Caregiver’s Bill of Rights:” You can find this document here.
- See a psychotherapist: If your stress level is very high or if you are feeling depressed, a therapist might be able to help you.
- Consult with your spiritual leader: If you are a religious person your spiritual leader might also be able to help you.
- Join a support group: Support groups can be helpful for Alzheimer’s caregivers, even if you just listen in.
- See a family therapist if there is conflict in your family: If there is a lot of conflict among family members consider seeing a family therapist.
- Keep a journal: Writing about your experiences and feelings every day can also be therapeutic.
- Learn how to get along better with your loved one: Here are three quick tips: Don’t contradict or argue with them, Don’t bring up subjects that might upset them, and if they do get upset quickly change the subject. Following these tips will lead to a better relationship.
- Take up a hobby about which you become passionate. It’s important to have time to yourself. Find a hobby you love. It can make a big difference.
NOTE: A few of these tips are based on ones presented by the Alzheimer’s Association.
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