KnowItAlz.com

Alzheimer's Blog

Caregiver Stress

TIPS: Managing Stress

shutterstock_1139790.jpg Stress can be described as a physical and emotional reaction to change. Often there is a feeling of pressure, a feeling of being exhausted emotionally as well as physically because of constant demands.

People often carry large loads of stress when the responsibility of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease so the following are some Tips to help caregivers manage stress more effectively.

1. Stay involved and active in something you like to do.

a. Take a class at local schools or community centers.

b. Get involved in community affairs.

c. Join social groups: card games, gardening, and book clubs.

d. Visit with positive people, such as family and friends.

e. Encourage and accept help from others.

f. Find out about and Use community resources.

2. Deal with feelings.

a. Stay in tune with yourself and deal with feelings early on.

b. Accept sadness and anger.

c. Discuss feelings with others. Telephone a friend.

d. Treat yourself to something special, such as a favorite book.

e. Deal with issues as they happen.

f. Be patient with yourself and allow time for change.

3. Learn to relax.

a. Exercise- join a health club.

b. Meditate.

c. Listen to music.

d. Get a pet.

e. Place pleasant things in room, such as a favorite picture.

f. Visualize a scene, a person, or a memory that relaxes you.

4. Keep good health habits.

a. Have regular medical checkups.

b. Exercise regularly.

c. Eat a balanced diet. Watch your caffeine intake.

d. Get enough sleep.

e. Avoid alcohol and tobacco products.

f. Educate yourself about prescription and other medicines.

g. Spend time with other family members.

5. Remember the value of humor.

a. Share a cute joke or photo. It is good for everyone.

b. Laugh or at least smile for your health for laughter lowers the blood pressure and helps healing.

c. When feeling tired try humor for energy.

d. Buy a calendar with a new joke or funny saying for each day.

e. Watch a funny movie with a friend.

6. Keep a positive attitude.

a. Focus on the abilities, such as the ability to smile, not the disabilities.

b. Relax and smile before starting a task.

c. Sing or hum while doing a task.

d. Appreciate your ability to handle more responsibility.

e. Forget and forgive your mistake and try again.

Material from “Helping People With Progressive Memory Disorders: A Guide For You And Your Family” (University of Florida Health Science Center). Used with permission from the authors: K. M. Heilman, MD, L. Doty, PhD, J. T. Stewart, MD, D Bowers, PhD, L. Gonzalez-Rothi, PhD.