If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, you understand how fulfilling, yet challenging it can be. Carers often have an increased risk of depression, stress and burn out. As we all know, it’s hard to pour from an empty cup. So how can you take care of yourself, whilst taking care of your loved one? We share some strategies for carers, including where to find support and assistance.
Why education on dementia is important
Recent research indicates that when carers and family members understand the disease, and are educated on the best ways to communicate and interact, both the person living with dementia and the carer benefit. Education, and even training, can give the carer the tools they need to help reduce behavioural problems and communicate effectively. This supports both you as a carer and your loved one, giving you both a better quality of life. Dementia Australia provides insightful, and important education sessions for carers, family members and friends of people living with dementia.
How counselling can help
Counselling can benefit both yourself as a carer, and your loved one. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions in the role of a carer. A counsellor will help you understand these emotions, and also understand your loved one more too, as they manage living with dementia. Counselling is a powerful tool that a carer can utilise, to give them the support they need – through both the good times and the challenging times. Aligning yourself with a great counsellor or support group early on in your role as a carer helps you to start building that important support network.
Respite for you and your loved one
It’s hard to care for someone when you are feeling burnt out or stressed, or you are facing your own challenges in life. Consider respite care as an option to give yourself and your loved one a break from day-to-day life. Respite care can be as little as a few days and up to 6 weeks. It’s also a great way to help transition to a new aged care home, starting with short stays, to begin with and then building up to the permanent move.
The following resources may help you find the support you need whilst caring for a loved one with dementia.
- National Dementia Helpline on free call 1800 100 500
- Dementia Australia – For research, education and counselling services
- Dementia Support Australia – 24/7 365 days a year support for carers of people living with dementia where behaviours are impacting on care.
Evergreen Life Care is here to assist with respite or care options for you and your loved one or family member. To learn more about respite or care options, please contact our team who can assist with availability and questions, and give you the support you need.