Taking care of someone with Alzheimer's Disease can be a demanding
task. It requires time and energy. Even if you are young and in good
health, giving care can be difficult.
If you want to continue to give care, it is essential that you look
after yourself. Many caregivers suffer health problems as a result of the
intense demands on them of looking after someone.
Your body will let you know when you are working too hard or feeling
too much stress. There will be signs. For example, you may notice that you
are more easily upset, feel on edge, get angry or cry more easily. You may
sometimes feel that you just can't cope. You may have tense or sore
muscles, stomachaches, headaches or problems sleeping. You may be much
more tired or get more colds than usual. Realize that you are smoking,
eating or drinking more. You are less able to concentrate. Simple tasks
It is important to realize that caring for someone takes time and
energy. There will be limits to what you can do. You will have to decide
which things are most important to you. Which do you value most? A walk
with the person you are caring for, time by yourself, activities you have
always enjoyed with others or a clean and tidy house? There is no
"right" answer to this question; only you know what matters most
to you at any particular time. Besides making choices, you will have to
set limits on what you do in a day. It may be difficult to admit that you
can't do everything. It is not easy to say "no." To be
realistic, you will need to think carefully about how much you can do.
- As soon as you start caring for a person with Alzheimer Disease you
need to plan for the immediate future and consider what is ahead for
both of you. Include family members and the person, if possible, in
- Over the course of the disease, your needs and abilities will
change, just like the person's do.
- There may come a time when you can no longer provide care in your
home. The person may need to be cared for in a long-term care facility
such as a nursing home.
- There are no rules to say if and when this will happen, but it is
helpful to recognize that it may. As a caregiver you should not view
this move as a sign of failure.
- It should be seen as a stage in the overall progression of the
disease. A long-term care facility is one more service available to
you as a caregiver.
- You are important! What you are doing is vital. Take care of