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June is Dementia Care Professionals Month

caregiver doing puzzle with older woman
By Claudette Forbes

Dementia can be one of the most challenging conditions for a family caregiver to work with. Those living with dementia are often confused and disoriented, and often struggle to remember the names and faces of their own children.

The pain of watching a loved one slip away while still being very much alive can be unbearable for family members. Even when a caregiver is not a family member but a trained professional, it takes a special kind of person to be able to stay calm and focused, day in and day out.

A dementia care provider is a valuable person who gives a piece of their heart every day to their work. For this Dementia Care Professionals Month, our Woodbridge, New Jersey caregivers would like to talk about how important self care is for caregivers, and how to help deal with caregiver’s fatigue.

What is caregiver’s fatigue

Even the most giving person may experience caregiver’s fatigue at some point. Taking care of someone with dementia takes its toll, and that can sometimes come in the form of caregiver’s fatigue. Dementia can cause a financial burden on the family, an emotional toll on the caregiver, and sometimes physical exhaustion as well.

When your mother doesn’t remember who you are, or has forgotten to pay a bill or overspends, these things can all take a severe toll on the emotional health of the person taking care of them.

How to help

The first step in avoiding caregiver’s fatigue is to reach out for help. Too many family caregivers believe that they alone should shoulder the responsibility of care. This is not true. Successful caregiving often requires many hands to make sure that the family member is well taken care of.

If you can, ask your family to help ease some of the workload. This might be by helping to source or provide respite care so you can step away for a few moments, or helping by doing the grocery shopping or supporting you in some other way.

If no family is available, hiring a caregiver is another good option. A professional caregiver can help ease the burden by doing some of the chores, driving your loved one to appointments, or simply offering you that much needed break.

Our caregivers love their work, and enjoy making a difference in the lives of our clients every day.

Other tips

Sometimes, it’s not possible for more of the burden to be shouldered by other people. If you still find yourself stressed by situations, there are some things you can do to help. Deep breathing exercises can help ease stress in the moment, and spending a few minutes outside can boost your mood and help ease tensions.

Caring for someone living with dementia can be hard, especially if they are your own family member. If you are experiencing caregiver fatigue it’s important to take steps to help yourself. Not only will you benefit from reduced stress and much needed assistance, but your family will also benefit when they see you feeling more relaxed.

For additional resources, guidance or help, contact the expert caregiving team at Homewatch CareGivers of Woodbridge today.