The best gift you can give a loved one is to take care of you!

Taking care of a friend or loved one who suffers from dementia can be both physically and emotionally stressful and can wear you down. You find yourself getting so caught up in the other person’s daily routine that you forget how vulnerable you are.  If you are not mindful of this you’ll run the risk of burnout and the silent effects of stress eventually catch up with you.  Instead of getting overly stressed about the tasks and resulting consequences of caring for someone else, try to put things into perspective.

Much like caring for small children, you occasionally have to ask yourself “is this a big deal or a small deal?” and at times you will need to pick and choose your battles.  By keeping things in perspective you’ll be better able to handle the curves that will inevitably come your way.

In short, if you are caring for a loved one remember to take special care of yourself by staying in touch with what YOU need.  You are their blessing and the rock they are leaning on.  Try to maintain a healthy balance between providing the necessary care and attention for your loved one as well as yourself.