AlzU Blog

Taking Care of the Caregiver

As a caregiver, self-care may be at the bottom of your “to-do” list most days.  But in reality, taking care of your self is a very important part of being an effective caregiver.  This may mean that you need to delegate care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s (AD) to others in the family or perhaps employ an adult day center so that you can carve out enough time for your own health and well-being. 
It’s vital for caregivers and for those with AD alike to eat a brain healthy diet and follow a regular exercise regime to help reduce stress and encourage a good sleep pattern.
Getting involved with a caregivers’ support group is another healthy choice for caregivers.  Those who are actively involved in a support group are more prepared to deal with the many challenges that AD can present and have been found to cope better with stress. 
Studies indicate that not only do many caregivers forgo taking care of their own health in order to care for their loved one; not making time for socialization or enjoyable activities is another common trait of many caregivers.  These unhealthy lifestyle choices can contribute to physical and emotional illness such as depression, high blood pressure, and other stress related disorders. 
Another recent study indicated that although caregivers spend plenty of time accompanying their loved ones to various medical appointments, they rarely visit a physician themselves.  Seeing your doctor on a regular basis is very important to your overall health. 
Many caregivers have a hard time asking for help, which is vital to implementing a healthier lifestyle. Schedule regular down time even if it’s just to sit and read a book or go for a walk, get a massage or talk to a friend on the phone.  Taking frequent short breaks is one solution if down time is really difficult to arrange. 
To find adult day service providers in your area, contact Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or go to To learn more about Alzheimer’s caregiving, and Alzheimer’s prevention & treatment, join our free course today.

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