14 Tips for Managing Caregiver Stress
1. Simplify your lifestyle so that your time and energy are available for things that are really important.
2. Structure your day. Develop routines and predictable schedules to make life easier for you and for your loved one.
3. Worry only saps your energy. Take one day at a time. Try not to worry about what might happen in the future.
4. Have a back-up plan such as pre-arranged respite care, or a friend or relative to call on when you have an emergency or illness strikes.
5. Keep your sense of humor and have fun. Laughter helps to put things in a more positive perspective. Plan for outings and things that you both like to do.
6. Remember that your loved one is not being “difficult” on purpose. It is the disease that distorts his/her behavior and affects his/her emotions.
7. Try to see their “world” as if you were in their “shoes.” Remember that your loved one is so much more than the disease.
8. Focus on and enjoy what your loved one can still do. Do not lament over what they can’t do anymore.
9. Try to remember their love for you when they can no longer remember.
10. Take a deep breath! Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can at this moment.
11. Understand your own physical and emotional limitations. Give yourself frequent breaks from caregiving. Even an hour a day is a big help.
12. Get regular physical exams. Do not let your health deteriorate.
13. Join a support program and learn all you can about the disease.
14. Draw upon whatever Higher Power you believe in to sustain you in the good times and the trying times.
Click here to view the original article. Carol J. Farran, DNSc, RN, and Eleanore Keane-Hagerty, MA, wrote an article with an adaptation of these items in 1989. It was printed in The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Care and Related Disorders & Research.