At IP Homecare, we have been caring and support families living with Dementia for a number of years. We understand caring for someone living with Dementia can be both physically and mentally exhausting. It affects every part of your life and can make you feel isolated, stressed and sometimes even depressed.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to care for someone with dementia – every person has their own unique needs.
Everyone will experience caring for someone with Dementia in their own way. There may be days when you feel like you can cope well, and others when you cannot. You may find that there are some aspects of caring you can manage easily, while others prove more difficult. This can change from day to day.
No matter how caring for someone with Dementia affects you, it is important that you learn to cope with some of the things you find difficult.
Prioritise on the things you really need to do and which things are less important, and do the most important things first.
There is only so much that you can do. Focus on what you can do and accept the things that you can’t. Focus on the good things – it can be hard to see the positive things – however writing things down – even small things, such as a shared joke – might be useful. When you are having a difficult day, these things can remind you of the good you are doing.
Do not compare yourself to others
Try not to compare yourself to others. Everyone’s situation will be different and everyone has their own challenges to face. You may struggle with things that they find easy, but they may struggle with things that you cope with well.
Understand your feelings
Accept any negative feelings that you have. You are certainly not alone in feeling this way – it is a normal reaction. Having negative feelings does not mean you are a bad person.
If you are feeling frustrated. Are you trying to do too much? Are you not getting the help you need? Once you have understood why you feel the way you do, you will be able to make clearer decisions about what is right for you and for the person you are caring for.
Don’t bottle it up! Talking with friends, family members or other Carers in similar circumstances will make you feel less isolated and stressed, and it can help to put things in perspective. Talking about your experiences with others can be hugely beneficial.
Talk to a Dementia professional
If you feel that you’re really struggling, speak to someone as soon as possible. Your GP, Social Worker or Counsellor – or even a good friend or family member or on a helpline or discussion forum such as Alzheimer’s Society’s Talking Point
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support if you need it. Involving family and friends helps reduce some of your stress.They may be able to look after the person while you have a break or help with some housekeeping.
Take a break
Don’t forget to take care and time for yourself. You will be able to cope better if you take breaks away from the person you care for.
At IP Homecare, we understand providing ongoing care for a loved one can certainly be challenging – and, at times, exhausting. If you would like temporary respite from your role, IP Homecare offer 24 hour care live-in care, sleep over cover and much longer periods of help can be arranged for you to help you take a break and recharge your batteries.
Many decide to take a short holiday with friends or relatives. For others, this respite may provide the time they need to help cope with a difficult problem, situation or commitment, such as a planned hospital operation or family commitments far from home.
Please read our frequently asked question guide. Here, we have explored many of the questions that are commonly asked by those caring for someone with dementia.