Coping with a Parent with Dementia

care giver image

Perhaps there is no greater stress than caring for a loved one.

When that loved one has a dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, or any other type of primary or secondary dementia and they are a shell of themselves, the experience for relatives can become extremely taxing.

Often time caregivers become so run down that they need someone to care for them!

Being a caregiver to a loved one who is suffering from a slow and insidious illness such as dementia can be very debilitating emotionally. Many caregivers develop feelings of helplessness, haplessness and hopelessness which can lead to depression.

The physical stress one experiences while being a caregiver can become so overwhelming, they can literally burn out. Often times, caregivers are so worried about their loved ones getting proper rest, eating and feeling comfortable that they neglect these tangibles in their own lives. In fact, many caregivers throughout the care-giving process develop their own stress-related physical ailments.

If you don’t manage your stress, no one will manage it for you.

Often time caregivers will report feelings of fatigue, frustration and burnout. Being a caregiver is an unselfish and overwhelming sacrifice of one’s self. Moreover, it is most times a thankless job with few tangible rewards. Nurses and health care aids are trained to deal with others and taught to be objective.

When you are caring for a loved one, it is hard to remain objective and disallow feelings from getting in the way. Professionals can walk away from their jobs and enjoy their personal lives.

There are no clear-cut, great strategies for being the perfect caregiver.

However, to be an effective caregiver, you need to keep your life in balance. You need to learn to keep things in perspective and keep stress in check before it overwhelms you. Take a physical break from the care-giving situation. Being a caregiver will keep you glued to one’s bedside, chair or room. You need to totally dissociate yourself from your loved for a period of time each day.

You shouldn’t feel guilty. Don’t feel like your abandoning them. Perceive this as time to re-charge your batteries. Just going for a walk is a great tonic.

Any sort of exercise is encouraged even if just a 20 minute walk which will make you more refreshed and alert!

Take mental and emotional breaks from your loved one as well.

Do something for yourself which you enjoy doing. Give yourself at least one hour everyday to treat yourself to “life”. Just because a loved one is ill doesn’t mean you have to stop living. When caregivers become overwhelmed with the stress, some begin to dread seeing their loved one because they perceive them as a burden. It is not uncommon for come caregivers to actually start resenting or becoming bitter toward their loved one.

Always try to keep open the network of support systems you have. Friends and family are very important during times of stress. Whenever family and friends offer to help out, jump at the opportunity.

Try and get plenty of rest.

If you don’t get rest or sleep, you are going to become so run down you will not be of optimal use to your loved one.

If you are having a difficult time with stress or relaxing, hypnosis is an exceptional tool. In fact, under the guidance of a train hypnotherapist, you can learn to block out beliefs and perceptions you have that are leading you to experience added stress.

For those preferring a more flexible hypnosis session than visiting a hypnotist then check out this self-hypnosis session you can listen to whenever and wherever you want here >>>

Dr. Peter
Staff Editor
Free At Last Hypnosis

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