Caring for a senior that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be challenging, even for someone with excellent caregiving skills.
As a loved one’s symptoms worsen, a caregiver will likely put all their time and energy into their care. When this happens, caregivers put off their own needs, which increases their risk of health problems.
Caregivers need support so they can remain healthy while offering their services. This is why The Kensington Redondo Beach and Hilarity for Charity (HFC) partnered to present CareCon.
CareCon was hosted by Co-Founder Lauren Miller Logan as a free, virtual event designed to educate, inspire, and empower caregivers. With panel conversations and expert-led workshops, those who attended found resources, connections, and tips to help them along their caregiver journey.
Caregiving for Alzheimer’s or Dementia
In the beginning, it may not be difficult to care for your family member.
With few symptoms and minimal assistance, seniors can likely remain in their homes and carry out their own daily tasks.
Unfortunately, as symptoms increase, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will become more dependent on others for assistance and support.
Learning symptoms of each stage, and how the disease progresses, can help a caregiver plan for their senior loved one’s future.
While planning for your senior’s future, and what you will do as their disease progresses, a caregiver needs to plan for their own self-care and mental health as well.
Make Yourself a Priority Too: Caregiver Tips
Caregivers are susceptible to caregiver burnout when they put themselves last.
While it may be challenging to find time for yourself, you cannot neglect your own needs. To be the best caregiver and maintain your health, you need to plan for your own care as well.
Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout
If you notice that you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you have likely been affected by caregiver stress and would benefit from focusing on your own mental health.
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Feeling down, irritable, hopeless and helpless
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weakened immune system
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
Feel Empowered as a Caregiver
Staying active for even 30 minutes a day can lessen some of the stress of caring for another person. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises are beneficial for caregivers feeling overwhelmed.
Social engagement is essential for caregivers, as isolation can lead to depression and loneliness. Reach out to a therapist, support group, friend, and other family members to feel more connected.
Socializing and making time for humor can be a great way to ease tension and boost your mood. During CareCon, comedy for coping is emphasized as an essential self-care tip. Even on the worst days, there is still room for laughter.
How Kensington Senior Living Helps Caregivers
Our assisted living and memory care communities support caregivers by offering them resources through our Konnect page. Here you can find events, good news, books, podcasts, music, wellness information, and classes, to support you through your caregiver journey.
CareCon is just one of the many events that we offer to caregivers. We know that these resources are beneficial to both you and your loved one.
With the right resources and information, we know that we can help you preserve your mental health and energy while showing you how to lessen stressors.
The Kensington is passionate about providing our residents and their families with the best support and knowledge. Together, we can help you and your senior loved one to preserve your mental health and overall well-being.
The Challenges and Rewards of Alzheimer’s Care
Caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease can be exhausting, stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. It takes a lot of love and patience to be a caregiver.
Watching a senior go through the stages of the disease and lose their ability to communicate, understand, and remember can make you feel depressed. It is also common to feel lonely and isolated during this time.
With the challenges, there are rewards.
Having the chance to take care of someone who may have taken care of you is one of life’s most significant accomplishments. It gives a sense of purpose, knowing that you are needed and valued.
For younger family members, watching you care for a senior loved one can teach them compassion, respect, loyalty, and even change their perspective on life.
The Kensington Redondo Beach Offers Caregiver Support
At The Kensington Redondo Beach, Our Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own — including caregivers.
We are an assisted living and memory care community that offers high-acuity care to our residents. With our life-enrichment activities, exquisite dining services, rehabilitation services, and cozy, safe homes, your loved one can truly age in place.
If you are interested in finding more self-care tips and different approaches to caregiving, you can sign up for one of our future events on our Events page.
If you’re a caregiver looking for support, resources, and a new home for your senior loved one, reach out to our team.