Ask for help

Sit down with the members of your family and ask what they are willing to do to help. Give them ideas and suggestions. Don’t just assume that they know what you need. They can’t read your mind, and they may already be doing what they think is helpful. Assume that most people are doing the best they can under the circumstances. While this is not always the case, most often it is.

Recognize that you are dealing with a stressful situation. Some people overlook the problems they are experiencing because they slowly take on more and more responsibility. Recognize all that you have taken on and congratulate yourself on what you have been able to do. Then see about getting any help you might need.

Keep family members informed

Just remember, if you keep the lines of communication with your family and friends open, they will be able to understand more easily what you and your family member are going through. The better they understand, the more willing they’ll be to pitch in and help.

Caregiving isn’t easy, and it’s important to make sure your aging family member does not take up all your energy. Make sure you find ways to pull together as a family and work together for everyone’s benefit.

Coping with conflicting demands

As a caregiver you may find that you are often faced with conflicting demands on your time. This can be difficult to manage and can leave you feeling exhausted – both physically and mentally.

  • Recognize your own limits. You are only one person and there is only so much that you can do. Many caregivers feel torn between responsibilities – especially if they are trying to care for children, look after someone who is unwell, or go to work as well as caring for the person with dementia. As much as you may want to be able to manage everything it is not always possible.
  • When you have a lot of conflicting demands it may help to prioritize the things that you must do and the things that are less important.
  • Talk to others about what you are going through.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support if you need it. Find out whether there are any services available for you or the person with dementia in your local area.