As part of last week's Dementia Awareness week in Scotland, we in the Home Instead Senior Care office here in Renfrewshire signed up as Dementia Friends.
Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer Scotland initiative aiming to raise awareness about Dementia and reduce the stigma of the condition. Anybody can become a Scottish Dementia Friend. It’s just about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition. This could be helping someone find the right bus or being patient in a till queue if someone with dementia is taking longer to pay. Sign up using this link, and learn more about the condition and it’s effect on individuals and the community.
We at Home Instead want to reach more people who are affected by dementia and encourage them to think and talk about it. If you’re a caregiver, you’re likely to have unanswered questions regarding both the care you are giving to your loved one, and the care you owe yourself.
We have put together some tips to help you be the best CAREGiver possible. Remember, it is very important that you have someone to turn to when the going gets tough.
Be patient: It can often take time to get into a consistent care routine. Keeping calm and patient will allow this to happen whilst also respecting your loved one’s dignity and independence.
Take a guilt free break: Allowing yourself some alone time to unwind a few times each month will help you to recognise and provide a much better quality of care.
Accept that they have changed: The person you care for is unlikely to be the person you know them to be. Accepting this change will help you to stay in the here and now and give the best care possible.
Help them feel good: A new haircut or item of clothing can do wonders for your loved one’s confidence and self-worth, so don’t forget to treat them every now and again.
Accept help: In order to properly take care of someone else, you need to also be able to take care of yourself. When people offer to help you, it’s okay to accept it.
Practice acceptance: Focus on accepting the situation you are faced with the one you are caring for and look for ways it can help you grown as a person. Focus on the things you can control and find the silver lining.
Focus on what you are able to provide: It's normal to feel guilty sometimes, but understand that no one is a "perfect" caregiver. Believe that you are doing the best you can and making the best decisions you can at any given time.
Learn a relaxation technique: Using relaxation techniques can help you feel more rested. They can also help you make time for yourself and don’t have to take lots of time if you’re struggling to make space for activities.
Take care of your health: Think of your body like a car. With the right fuel and proper maintenance, it will run reliably and well. Exercise regularly, eat well, and don’t skimp on sleep.
Laugh: Laughter is strong medicine for the mind and body and is a powerful antidote to stress. Watch a funny movie, go to a comedy club, and make time for fun activities like bowling or karaoke.
For more helpful advice, or to get practical support with a family member or friend, feel free to contact us at Home Instead Senior Care, where we have an experienced and knowledgeable team able to provide support. Call us on 0141 280 8210