During this time of the COVID 19 virus, we at CaringKind understand the unique challenges facing caregivers of people with  dementia. Sheltering in place orders have altered how we care for our family and friends with cognitive impairment. The full-time stress of caregiving is overwhelming. Caregivers need support. Here are suggestions that may ease the day-to-day stress..

One of the most frustrating aspects of caregiving is finding time for one’s self. The person with dementia often demands our undivided attention. Even if you are not directly providing care, constantly thinking about the situation contributes to the feeling of being a perpetual caregiver. Finding personal time allows one to refresh and rejuvenate for one’s own health and wellbeing, as well as continuing to be there for the person with dementia. Even a few moments can make a difference.

Find safe activities for the person with dementia. See the activities resource list and “Virtual Beginnings “online program found on our website. Ensure the person is safe and give yourself a few moments of respite.. Choose something related to the person’s past, for example,  a librarian may be able to alphabetize a bookshelf, a doctor may be able to peruse or copy text from a medical journal  he or she  knows well.  Finding the “just right” activity may take a few tries. Look for upcoming Engaging Activities at Home on our website.

Caregivers  spend a lot of time trying to think things through, adding to the feelings of stress. There are online resources to help our bodies relax. See chair yoga link on our website. it is possible to feel refreshed when one steps out of “caregiver mode” even for a short time.

Reach out to CaringKind’s  Helpline 646-744-2900. or email one of our dementia care specialists Sharing hardships can make the situation more bearable. Our helpline staff provides listening, helpful resources, tips and tools for caring.

CaringKind’s support groups, now meeting online, are accepting new members.  Support group members benefit from getting to know others who can help ease the sense of isolation and make this journey more bearable. Reach out to family and friends.  If you are a member of a religious or faith organization, reach out to them. Using FaceTime or a similar platform, you can “virtually” visit friends and family and get to see familiar faces. Being able to see someone you are close to can be a comfort.

Spend a few minutes each day to write. Write a letter to someone you love. Writing gives one a chance to focus. Read anything but COVID-19 disease news (limit your exposure) Pick up a book that you enjoy. Reading can be a great escape!

Nap when your person with dementia naps. Use a bedtime routine to get the most out of your rest.

This is a difficult and loving task that you have taken on. Remind yoursel that you are doing the best you can in a very challenging situation. With help we can get through this time together.