Tips for how caregivers can care for themselves during Coronavirus crisis


How are you doing lately? If you’re like many caregivers, you’re likely feeling additional stress of not only managing our own uncertainties, but also having a separate cause of worry because of your loved ones. You’re not alone, and the Dementia Aware community is here to help.

Here are a few tips that are making this very uncertain time more manageable for both caregivers and those in their care.

Encourage good hygiene: One of the most important ways we can keep our loved ones safe is to encourage routines to minimize their chance of becoming sick. Place reminders around living areas and restrooms to remind them to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and stay up to date on the latest information at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Take care of yourself: The old adage about securing someone else’s oxygen mask before your own really applies right now. Take time for yourself when you need it and as you’re able to. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a few breaths. It is helpful to implement self-care strategies when you’re feeling overwhelmed so you can approach their care with logic and love.

Stay connected: For a segment of our population that is already very isolated, further isolation can be especially challenging. Use the many tools available today to stay face to face. That could look differently based on comfort levels with technology. Video or FaceTime calls are easy to set up. Set a weekly date and time for a call or video chat, so your loved one can look forward to and rely on the consistency of it.

Get creative: You may have seen some of the creative ways that families have been finding to stay connected. If you’re not able to make in-person visits right now, coordinate a visit from a safe distance with a visit outside a window. Seeing familiar faces can go great lengths in ensuring someone feels safe, loved and cared for when things are changing so quickly.

Remain logical: There are a lot of factors out of your control right now, but the dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease communities need us more than ever. Keep your focus on the factors you can control and put routines and action plans in place to retain some normalcy in your life.

I hope these tips serve you well, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide support to you and your family in any way. Stay well and healthy.

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