What it takes to be an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

July Facebook Blog Entries Lillian Reda, Dir. of Memory Support Clinical Practice and Education


Week 1

You’re Going to Be Tired and Need a Break

Lots of times caregivers feel as if they should be able to just power through and keep going, no matter what. But you’re a human being, first, and how often have you done anything without any sort of break? 

  • You’re Going to Experience Other Types of Tired, Too
    But it’s not just physical exhaustion you need to worry about. You’re going to need to worry about mental and emotional tiredness. You’re pouring a lot of your heart and soul into being a caregiver and that’s going to cost you at times. You need to make time for yourself, maybe even respite care now and again and that doesn’t mean we are not a master in our caregiving role.

  • Pressure Is Going to Come from All Sides
    Being a caregiver is full of pressure and demands. There’s the “business” stuff that you’re probably handling for your loved one, like bills, insurance, banking, etc. but there are other pressures, too. You worry about their health and their safety and you want them to be and do well. If that doesn’t happen, you feel like a failure, or frustrated, and those feelings add up. You need to be able to relieve that pressure in a productive way.

  • Time Management Is Going to Be a Challenge
    Before you became a caregiver, you might have managed your schedule like a boss. But that’s a lot different once you’re deep into caregiving. There’s a lot less free time, for one thing, and then there’s the fact that unexpected emergencies are going to crop up from time to time. Your other obligations are going to need to shift a bit in your schedule so that you can accommodate everything.

Let other people help you with caregiving tasks as well as with whatever helps you to take better care of yourself. Respite time help from family and friends, and simply knowing when to take a step back are all going to be extremely helpful for you. Caregiving is tough and you’re going to need to allow yourself to physically recharge. 

Week 2

ADL’s are an intimate and private experience. It is important to maintain lifelong routines/patterns. Dementia and other factors, interrupt an individual’s ability to carry out the day-to-day personal care. By maintaining a familiar pattern/routine we can normalize their preferred life patterns.

Week 3

This is What It Takes to Be

 Week 4

Summer Fun Activities for those with Dementia. Take advantage of the summer season, try a couple of fun activities together! Here may be a refreshing thought.

Make Frozen Treats

The hot summer sun puts older adults at risk for dehydration and other heat related illnesses. You can potentially prevent some of these issues by drinking plenty of liquids, dressing appropriately for warm weather and minimizing physical activity during hot weather. 

If your loved one insists on spending time outside on hot days, help them fuel up with frozen treats. Making frozen treats, such as fruit pops or flavored ice cubes requires very little effort, keeps you cool and may even evoke this having being a fun childhood memory.  Experiment with different flavors of juice, punch, tea, soda, lemonades to find the perfect frozen treat for your liking.