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Self-care

What self-care is: any intentional action you take to protect your physical, mental, emotional well-being.
What self-care is not: indulgent, selfish, or disloyal.

As a busy caregiver, “me time” may seem like an impossible luxury. You are the candle burning at both ends.

If you haven’t had time to read or hear about caregiver burnout, take 10 seconds to review a few quick facts from the Alzheimer’s Association:

* nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high

* about 40 percent suffer from depression

* these caregivers had $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2014.

By refilling your own cup, you have a deeper well to draw from as a caregiver. Give yourself permission to rest and to do things that you enjoy on a daily basis. After a break, you should have more energy and be more focused – a better care partner to your loved one.

* Give yourself a treat. Flowers, a manicure, a movie, special tea, whatever is special
and meaningful to you.

* Get out of the house. Ask a relative or friend to stay with your loved one so you can go
for a walk or a drive.

* Find a local support group. A quick online search will return a list of groups,
locations and times that are right for you. Visit a group meeting. You will be glad you did.

* Laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. Read a funny book, watch a comedy, or call
a friend who makes you laugh. And whenever you can, try to find the humor in everyday situations.

* Share your feelings. The simple act of expressing what you’re going through can be very
cathartic. If it’s difficult to leave the house, invite friends over to visit. It’s important
that you interact with others.empty cup

 

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