To take care of a loved one, it helps to take care of your self.
Staying healthy yourself is vital when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. It's easy to lose sight of your own needs. But, if you're healthy; you'll be better able to give your time and energy to caring for your loved one. Learning to cope effectively with the stress of care giving is key.
Kristy Ramirez, RN, Coordinator of the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Geriatric Partial Hospitalization program says many Alzheimer's caregivers experience high levels of stress.
"You may feel a wide range of emotions as you face the challenges of care giving," Ramirez states. "If you start to experience anger, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, exhaustion, irritability, social withdrawals, or unusual health problems on a regular basis, consult your doctor."
Ramirez also suggests these tips for reducing caregiver stress:
"Alzheimer's can change your life and the life of your loved one significantly. Grief is a common result of care giving," Ramirez says. "You may feel angry or frustrated with your loved one, or feel like you could have done things differently before the disease occurred."
Some people may feel guilty that they still get to enjoy life when their loved one is unable to.
Try following these action steps:
For more information about this topic or to learn more about the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Geriatric Partial Hospitalization Program, which specializes in the care of patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, call (337) 430-3492. .