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5 Tips for Balancing Personal Needs with Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

A recent Fast Company article discussed how many caregivers struggle to balance their personal, familial and professional needs with caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The author shares five helpful tips for caregivers.

1. Always Stop to Ask, “How Important is This?”
Memory loss often causes people with Alzheimer’s or dementia to believe they’re in a different time or place. For example, they may think their spouse is still alive or that they still work at a previous job. It’s important to pick your battles—not every incorrect statement needs to be corrected, especially if it’s harmless. This practice is called therapeutic fibbing and can be beneficial to both the person with dementia and their caregivers.

2. Flexibility is the Best Time-Management Strategy
Try not to commit yourself to long to-do lists. Instead, pick three top-priority tasks that need to be completed each day, and give yourself the flexibility to complete them when possible.

3. Forgive Yourself
Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important to forgive yourself when they happen. Balancing caregiving with other responsibilities is a difficult task, and no one will be perfect all the time.

4. Take Time Off
To take care of your loved one, you need to take care of yourself. Create time to re-charge—you deserve it. Caregivers seeking a break are welcome to use The Kenwood’s Respite Care services.

5. Remember That it Won’t Always Be This Way
There are times when caregiving is easier, and times it is more difficult. In the challenging moments, remember that it’s temporary and the next hour, day and week offer new opportunities.
If you’re seeking advice in navigating the challenges and crossroads of caring for an aging parent or loved one, download our Caregiver’s Journey eBook. It was developed to help you discover the joy, hope and peace of mind that can be found along the way.

 

 

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