21 Oct How to Deal with Stress When Caring for Dementia Patients
People with dementia can often display a range of symptoms that can be stressful to work with, whether you are a caregiver or a family member. Confusion, mood swings, irritability, and even aggression can often be challenging to be on the receiving end of, just as much as they are challenging for the patient themselves to deal with. If you are looking after and supporting somebody with dementia, keeping your own stress levels low so that you can offer them the best support and care is essential.
Get Professional Help
If you are a family member of somebody with dementia, then there is no shame in admitting that you need professional help with their care. Many people with dementia have complex needs and might require around the clock care and support that families are simply not equipped to give. It might be worth considering moving them to a memory care facility such as University City where they can get the professional support that they need alongside your ongoing support when you visit. These facilities are designed to care for people with dementia and can help your loved one with a safe environment and good routine, which in turn will ease their symptoms.
Understand the Condition
Anybody who is caring for somebody with dementia should make an effort to understand as much as they can about the condition. When you are aware that somebody’s behavior is due to the dementia and may not always be a personal choice, it can become much easier to deal with. It is also important to have an understanding of the condition and how it personally impacts the person you are caring for. Understanding what might trigger them can help you provide a safer environment for them where they are less likely to be confused or irritated.
Take Time for Yourself
Caring for somebody with dementia can quickly begin to take over your life. But as much as you love your loved one, it’s important to take time for yourself too. Rely on other family members or friends whenever you can or consider investing in professional care – either home care or moving to a facility – so that you are able to focus on your own life too, knowing that your loved one is in good hands. If the situation has gotten especially stressful, you might find it useful to talk about it to a therapist or other professional.
Don’t Take Things Personally
People with dementia can often suffer from mood swings, irritability and aggression that can be quite scary to deal with. However, as you care for them, it’s important to understand that this is a normal response to the cognitive changes that they are going through, and it’s not personal to you. Stay calm and be a supportive, safe person for your loved one rather than reacting to their behaviors. Remember that these are symptoms of an illness.
Caring for somebody with dementia can sometimes get overwhelming and stressful. Keep these tips in mind to reduce your stress levels while ensuring that your loved one gets the care that they need.
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