Caregivers hear it often – “You should take care of yourself!”
“Well how, exactly, am I supposed to do that?”, many caregivers wonder to themselves as they politely smile and nod. It’s true. It seems impossible. Care-giving is not just a full-time job, sometimes it is a bunch of full-time jobs. Are you the nurse? The driver? The housekeeper? The food and personal necessities shopper? The appointment scheduler for doctors, lawyers and resource providers? Are you the accountant and bill-payer? In charge of home and vehicle maintenance? Hopefully you don’t have pets or dependents to look after and heaven help you if you’re still trying to work a full or part-time job! Odds are, that “taking care of yourself” is not high on the priority list.
The reality is that for a lot of caregivers, there is hardly any time for self-care. It isn’t unusual for caregivers who finally get an hour or two to themselves to be unsure what to do with that time. These experiences and feelings are normal and it can take practice to know how to un-wind after being in survival mode for an extended period of time.
Over the next few weeks we are going to explore various ways that caregivers can cope with the stresses of caring for a loved one and within those coping mechanisms, ways that caregivers can ultimately help care for themselves. Stay with us! If you’d like to be alerted to new posts via email, click “Subscribe to This Blog” on the right side bar of your screen.
Not sure if you’re stressed? You probably are! Check out our Caregiver Stress Check online at: http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-stress-check.asp