Dementia is a group of conditions that affect the brain. It can influence a person’s mood, behaviour, and the most common symptom of all, their memory. Looking after a loved one living with Dementia can be a very demanding role and you may even experience a range of physical and psychological challenges yourself.

Today, we are going to outline a range of self-care strategies for dementia carers that can help you look after yourself during this testing time.

Self-care strategies for dementia carers

Maintain good physical health

It can be easy to neglect your own wellbeing when you devote all your time and energy to another person. However, taking the time to maintain good health yourself means you can provide the best care possible for your loved one.

As a carer, it is important to continue eating a well-balanced healthy diet, get regular exercise and sleep well. The better you feel yourself, the better equipped you are to care for someone else.

Take care of your mental health

Sadly, many unpaid carers find themselves feeling overwhelmed or overburdened in their caring role. Some may experience feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, depression, resentment and even grief as their loved one’s personality begins to change. Too much stress and upset can have a negative impact on the health of a carer and the person they are caring for. Therefore, it is important that you do not work yourself to breaking point.

If your mental health is compromised because of your caring role, make sure you take time for your own happiness, goals and purposes. It is best to acknowledge your feelings and to ask for help when you need it, whether that is with friends or a professional counselling service. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and there are many support networks out there to help.

Take a break

It can be easy to develop unreasonable expectations for yourself as a full-time carer. However, forming a well-balanced lifestyle by taking time out from your caring role to enjoy your personal life can go a very long way. Try to schedule in sufficient breaks to fully rest, rejuvenate, catch up on some sleep and even pamper yourself. You deserve it!

Our Respite Care service provides you with the time you need to refresh and come back to your caring role ready to give your absolute best. Remember, making sure you care for yourself is just as important as taking care of your loved ones health and wellbeing too.

Build a strong support network

A good support network can be essential for getting through challenging situations. Try to keep in close contact with friends and family that offer you a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. You may even wish to join a carers’ support group, where you can share your experiences and offer and receive advice from people who understand what you’re going through.

Some family carers are eligible for government-subsidised funding to offer financial relief when caring for a loved one. To see what you could be entitled to, visit the Australian Government website for more information.

We’re here to help you

Our Dementia Resource Guide for Carers and Families is a free resource that provides information, resources and practical support to help people caring for someone with dementia. Alternatively, if you would like to learn more about the professional in-home Dementia Care we offer, please visit our service page. Our Specialist Dementia Training Program equips our CAREGivers to deliver distinctive memory care based on research and experience, rather than focusing on the diagnosis and symptoms of the disease.

Please feel free to call the Home Instead Brisbane West and Inner North office on 07 3720 8400 for more information and support.