It is natural for caregivers of people with dementia to become frustrated, even angry with the person that they love and are caring for. Therapists and veteran caregivers offer the following tips for dealing with those feelings:
- Be Honest. Admit to yourself and to others that you are angry.
- Remember that anger is not permanent. This too will pass.
- Try to identify specifically what bothers you.
- Find a time and place to be alone. Scream, exercise, cry or meditate until you feel some release.
- Realize that no one is perfect.
- When you feel you are about to explode, leave the scene until you feel calmer or have found a safe and healthy way to release your anger.
- Try not to blame yourself or your loved one for the present situation – it is not what anyone wanted to have happen.
- Let relatives or friends help with caregiving responsibilities – EVERY caregiver needs breaks.
- Strive to live each day to the best of your ability.
- Continue learning about how to deal with difficult behaviors and how to improve your communication.
There are lots of resources available to help you deal with stress and anger: Take our Caregiver Stress Check to check your stress level. Give us a call to find out about respite options in your area and support groups in your area – OR, call us if you think it would help just to talk. Call 24/7 at 800-272-3900.