How to Parent Your Parent, Without Losing Yourself
Providing the Best Care for Parents With Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Having a parent who is struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other age-related memory loss can be a trying task for all who are involved. And unfortunately, so many of us who are providing the care for a loved one who is facing such a difficult disease can find themselves getting lost in translation as they attempt to provide the best care that their loved one needs and deserves. In this brief article, we will be providing you with some of the top tips that you can utilize in order to ensure that you are fully able of “parenting” your parent, without losing yourself.
Tips to Help
Make Time: It is of the utmost importance to make time for yourself. Of course your parent means the world to you, but if your mental state becomes fragile, you will become unhealthy and will eventually start to break down as well, and that will only lead to you giving care that may not be to your fullest potential. Pick a day of the week to go out to dinner with friends, go shopping, or even just take a 15 minute break to go outside and go for a walk or meditate, anything that allows you some free time to get your grounding back so you can come back home to your parent with a fresh state of mind and more patience to allow for some of the more trying times.
Create a Schedule: Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia all too often means that you never know what each day will bring. And one of the hardships that caregivers often find themselves faced with is a busy and stress-filled day where they often feel as if they have gotten nothing accomplished. Creating a schedule and keeping it posted in the home is one of the best ways to ensure that everything gets accomplished each day, and will also help your loved one be able to get through each day just a little bit easier as well.
Find Support: There are a ton of really great support groups around that provide support for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. These groups are wonderful ways that you can personally connect with people who are dealing with the same issues that you are and who are feeling the exact same way that you are as well. Sometimes talking to people and connecting with shared struggles can be one of the best and most healing ways to cope. These groups are also a wonderful way to get great tips to help you parent your parent as well. Here are some support groups local to North Texas or online.
Caregiver Support Community – Facebook
Ask for Help: Be sure to keep in mind that it is perfectly okay to reach out and ask for help if things become too trying for you. You don’t have to do everything all by yourself all of the time. If certain tasks are becoming too difficult for you to accomplish with your loved one, be sure to reach out to a trusted family member or other care providers for help and support. There are a ton of resources out there for you to utilize in order to help relieve some of the stress of having to do so much throughout the day. And again, it is certainly okay to ask for a little bit of help. You deserve it for all you are already doing.
Good Senior Care needs Good Self Care Too
The most important thing to remember when it comes to providing care for a loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia is that you matter too. If you are not healthy, whether it is mentally or physically, you are most certainly not going to be able to put the needs of your loved one first in order to support them and care for them properly. Finding the time to take care of yourself is in no way selfish, it is actually selfless and it is also of the utmost importance. Never apologize for caring for yourself as well. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s/dementia is a trying feat, and you never know what is in store for you, but with a clear mind and an open heart, you can make every day shared with your loved one as beautiful as possible.
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