Owners' Blog

5 Good Habits for Family Caregivers of a Loved One with Dementia

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Senior Care in Suwanee GA

When you're a family caregiver for a loved one who has dementia, there are some habits that you can start adding to your repertoire in order to make life better for both of you. As you continue to build good habits, you'll find it easier to add more good habits to your routine.

Start Setting Realistic Expectations

You could spend your time wishing that your loved one could conform to your expectations regarding daily activities and her abilities, but that's not a good idea. The more realistic that you can be about your loved one's actual capabilities, the more your expectations will align with reality.

Let Go of Guilt Around Caregiving

Guilt is a huge motivator for family caregivers, but it's not healthy for you to carry around. Any time that you find yourself feeling guilt or inadvertently telling yourself that you "should" or "could" have done something different, it's time for you to stop what you're doing and re-frame those thoughts.

Allow Your Loved One to Make Some Decisions

Even with dementia, your loved one can participate in some decision-making activities. It's important to let her have as much autonomy as she can so that she maintains some level of control in her life. Let your loved one choose her clothing from two separate options. Give her a choice for lunch between one dish and another. Don't overwhelm her with choices, but allow her to have some decisions.

Pay Attention to Your Own Health

When you ignore your own physical and emotional health, you'll wind up running on empty sooner rather than later. It's essential that you're consistently taking care of yourself so that you can be a better caregiver for your elderly loved one. Make sure that you keep your own appointments with your doctor, that you eat right, and that you're taking enough time for yourself.

Let Others Help

If you're trying to do too much on your own, consistently, that's not sustainable. Instead, you need to work out who can help you with which tasks. If you don't have enough available helpers, then it may be time to look into hiring senior care providers.

The more of these good habits that you're able to adopt, the better for you and for your elderly loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Suwanee, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.