Seeking and receiving the support you need can make a real difference to your ability to cope with stress, remain healthy and continue to care for your loved one.
Support groups are invaluable, as they provide an opportunity to share advice, commiserate and learn from others who have the same concerns, feelings, stresses and challenges.
Facebook groups, message boards, blogs and chat rooms provide another medium for connecting with and learning from those experiencing similar challenges. You’ll also find an abundance of news, research and information relating to memory loss.
Write down your thoughts and feelings about being a carer - even the ones that make you uncomfortable. It’s a powerful way to confront your emotions and deal with them in a healthy fashion.
Sadly, many carers do not get the break they deserve and so desperately need. Periodic “respites” (time away from caring responsibilities) are essential.
Respite can take a variety of forms: the carer may take a few hours off or spend an overnight stay somewhere, while a friend or family member takes on the caring responsibilities. Alternatively, your loved one could spend some time being looked after at an assisted living care home such as Sunrise. Respite care offers several benefits:
• Relieves stress as you relax or focus on something you enjoy
• Provides a new, enriching experience for your loved one
• Results in more enjoyable time spent together afterwards
Research shows that carers of people with dementia experience greater strain and distress than carers of other older people. Depression, emotional and physical exhaustion and general poor health are common (Carers' Trust 2011).
These risks make it more critical than ever to maintain your own health, which means taking well-deserved breaks. Find time each day to do at least one thing for yourself in order to reduce stress.
Respite care at Sunrise offers carers the opportunity to take time for themselves, while ensuring their loved ones receive top quality care in a loving, warm environment.