It is hard enough watching someone you love and care about suffer with dementia. Any many times, loved ones are the ones that deal with all of the challenges faced with being a caregiver. It can be a frustrating and overwhelming task.
Coping with these common frustrations prevents negative impacts on your emotional and physical health. Learning to handle these challenges will be beneficial to not only your loved one, but yourself.
First, you need to realize and understand that some things are out of your control. Normal daily activities like eating, getting dressed or bathing can be difficult. It can be exhausting dealing with your loved one constantly being easily confused and repeating themselves. But know that your loved one can’t control some of their behaviors. Realizing that things like this cannot be changed can make it easier to deal with.
Second, avoid having a negative attitude. It is important to stay positive and remain calm when dealing with your loved one. Getting overwhelmed will only worsen the situation.
Next, always focus on good communication. This will help eliminate any extra stress. Stay away from passive and aggressive communication and stick to using assertive communication. As a caregiver, you need to still be able to express your needs and desires, but still respect the needs and desires of others. You can still stand up for yourself without being degrading or humiliating. Not only do you need to use assertive communication, but also effective communication to erase tension. Try to not correct your loved one or fight with them over unimportant things. Remember to speak direct, using simple statements so they can process and understand the information better.
Finally, don’t think you can do it all alone. It is OK to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to talk to others about your needs and how everyone can work together to make this process less difficult. It is helpful to look into support groups in your area and always reach out for support when needed.
Taking care of a loved one with dementia can cause a lot of emotions. Realizing that there are things you can’t control and maintaining a positive attitude will help lessen frustrations. Also, using good communication with your loved one and asking for help will eliminate unwanted stress. For more information on caretaking support groups in your area, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
By reading this blog, I acknowledge that I am not creating or entering a clinical or medical relationship with Dr. DenBoer and SMART Brain Aging. I understand that all materiel included in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only. The content is to provide me with information and knowledge and I will not substitute it for diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. I am aware the author does not hold a medical degree or license and is simply providing me additional information on a variety of health topics.