When you have a loved one who is diagnosed with dementia, you and your family often feel the effects of the illness just as much. Going through something like this can be devastating for a family. Luckily, there are a few ways you can cope with caring for a family member suffering from dementia:
Find Outside Support
Dealing with a loved one with dementia can cause significant sadness, so it is important that you try to find some support from an outside support group. These groups will allow you to connect with others who are dealing with the same situation it their families. You can take turns talking about how to cope, deal with feelings of sadness and loss, and just pour your feelings out to others who can understand. Most of all, you will be getting out for some time away to socialize and relax.
Get Help from the Family
When you have a loved one who is diagnosed with dementia, everyone in the patient's immediate family should be involved in their care. The realization is that one person will not be able to care for their ill loved one on their own. If you are going to be the primary caregiver, you need to have a support system of family members in place to help in the event you become sick, have personal business to attend to, or just need a break.
Take a Moment to Care for Yourself
Taking care of someone with advanced dementia can be very taxing on a person, so it is crucial that you get some time to yourself to care for your own needs. Caregivers often feel pangs of guilt about taking time for themselves, since these patients often require a lot of round the clock care. However, if you don't properly take care of yourself, you could end up exhausted or sick yourself. As you get time, perhaps when your loved one is resting, take a few minutes to get some fresh air outside. Have another family member come sit with the patient so you can get a cup of coffee at a coffee shop. Read a good book. Do a few things that make you happy and take your mind away from the current situation.
Having to care for family members with dementia can be so difficult. If it becomes too difficult for you and your family to handle on your own, you may want to think about hiring an in-home senior care service (such as ComForcare Home Care - Southwest Missouri) to come into the home to help you care for your loved one.