Ask anyone who cares about a loved one with a serious illness, what he does for self-sufficiency, and you'll probably hear laughter in response. Self-care can be difficult under the best of circumstances, but it is particularly difficult for people who spend most of their time caring for someone. Alzheimer's Carers are no exception. Nevertheless, some people find a way. We spoke with several current and former Alzheimer caregivers about the seemingly small self-help measures they found helpful.
. 1 Talk about what you are going through right now.
Art L., the father of Amy L., was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2012. She says she started to shut people out because her feelings were so rough. After her father's diagnosis, she later realized that this was not the way to go. "It's so insulating," says Amy SELF. "Our society makes us bring it to our chin and think you're fine. You're not feeling well, and it's a lot you can do on your own. "
Allow yourself this emotional salvation. If somebody cares about you, Amy recommends taking her at her word – she wants to know how you're doing – and opening up to them.
It also recommends contacting people in similar situations. If you have difficulty leaving the house (we'll do it soon) and can not make any personal support groups, she suggests connecting them online or over the phone. The Alzheimer Association has message boards by AlzConnected ; The Alzheimer's Foundation of America offers telephone support groups .
Amy D., whose mother died of Alzheimer's disease seven years after diagnosis, tells SELF that joining a support group was the most important thing she adds, "It's enormously helpful to talk to people who Understand all the emotions you feel and master everyday life. "
2. Try talking to someone from the outside world at least once a day.
It can be difficult to leave the house if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, both because of logistics and because of guilt. But you need a connection to the outside world, so that you do not lose yourself in the (very important) job of caring.
"Outside of friendships and time periods with other people who focus on something constructive, that's very, very important." Karen W. tells SELF. She says her teleworking job was a blessing when she looked after her mother Ethel, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1999. "I literally wore a phone headset while muting, while trying to watch phone meetings follow her around the house and yard," Karen says. "This external connection has helped a lot."
3. Identify at least one productive coping mechanism for your stress.
Karen recommends working in a productive way with the stress of nursing, such as meditation, hobbies or exercise. "It's not easy for the caregivers to remember that they are worth enjoying life and that they have to love themselves so that they can have the ability to love others – not just in their thinking, but in their lives also in action, "she says. 19659012] Emmy G., whose mother Linda was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease five years ago, tells SELF that she sometimes has to do something herself. This includes a 200-hour yoga teacher training course to become a Certified Yoga Teacher. She has also found a paragraph by writing about her wellness habits in her blog The Cure for Me
4. Put the time for self-sufficiency in your calendar and stick to it as if you were meeting someone else.  Amy says she felt guilty about leaving home after Art's diagnosis, and the lack of self-care was incredibly hard on her. "When he passed by, I was the image of why you need to look after the caregiver," she says. "I did not even look like me, the stress had so physically burdened me." After Art's death, Amy said it took three years to restore her self-esteem. "If I could go back and do it again, I would really try harder to spend more time on myself," she says.
. 5 Look at the care and actually use it.
Nursing Care offers caregivers short breaks from a few hours to weeks. Stephanie C., who cared for her mother with Alzheimer's for several years, wishes she would stick to it.
"I canceled it after two visits because my mother found it so uncomfortable," Stephanie tells SELF and explains that her mother was scared when other people were in the house. "But knowing that someone else was at home and having the opportunity to have some time off would have greatly reduced my stress." Instead, Stephanie said she had tried to do everything herself, ultimately affecting her mental health affected.  6. Make an appointment and keep your doctor's appointments.
Several caregivers told us that their own check-ups annual visits and regular exams rarely or never took place when caring for a loved one. "It's very important to keep up with medical appointments," says Stephanie. She also urges the caregivers to keep this in mind: "You can not take care of others if you are sick yourself."