The Importance of Self-Care for Carers

on the Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A diagnosis of dementia can be confronting and life-changing for the person living with dementia as well as their family and carers.

However, there is much that people living with dementia can do to ensure they remain independent for as long as possible and they, along with their families and carers, continue to enjoy life.

While it’s advisable to be upbeat and positive about the future and remain focused on opportunities for quality of life, there are likely to be times when this is difficult.

The physical and emotional demands of caring for someone with dementia can be high, and hard to balance with the needs of looking after family. As the amount of care needed increases, more time and energy will be needed from the carer.

Managing stress is vital for carers as it improves their emotional well-being, and ultimately, their ability to care for a person living with dementia. Finding time for themselves is very important for their mental health, as is having a support network of their own.

For those living with dementia, experiencing the changes caused by it may bring about a range of different emotions.

Learning about dementia is always a good starting point for families, carers and people living with dementia. Learning more about dementia either through research or attending information sessions will help to provide you with an understanding of what you or your loved ones are experiencing and equip you with the tools to adjust to these situations.

The most important self-care tip for people living with dementia and their loved ones is to maintain good health. This can be achieved through regular exercise and by eating a balanced diet. Many people find it helpful to incorporate regular meditation or relaxation activities into their day.

It’s also important to remember that you’re not alone. There are a large number of support groups throughout Australia. Many people find comfort and practical assistance by attending these meetings and talking with people who share similar experiences. It’s also important to build a support network of family and friends, so you can ask for help when you need it. 

For information about dementia, support and services please call The National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit dementia.org.au/resources/help-sheets

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