There are many carers living with a person with dementia who are having a difficult time during the coronavirus pandemic. To help you, Alzheimer’s Society has put together five tips to benefit your wellbeing.
It is such a difficult time for so many carers living with a person with dementia right now.
You’re adapting to weeks of lockdown, no access to any face-to-face services and very few chances to get out or meet anyone. You may be feeling worried, stressed or frustrated.
As a carer, it is very important to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Especially during difficult times like these. Not only for your own benefit, but also for the person you are supporting.
Here are our five tips for carers to look after your wellbeing
1. Keep connected
- Family and friends can be a great source of support. Whether it’s to talk about your emotions or just chat, staying in touch with your loved ones is good for your wellbeing. During the coronavirus lockdown, there are lots of ways to stay in touch - by phone, video chat, email or post.
- Remember that you are not alone. There are many people in similar situations that you can talk to - to let off steam, share frustrations or look for advice. Connect with others by joining Alzheimer’s Society’s online community Talking Point.
2. Make time for yourself
- Take regular breaks if you can. Having time apart can be good for both you and the person you care for. This can be difficult if you are caring for someone during the coronavirus lockdown. But even short breaks doing something that you enjoy can make a lot of difference.
- Remember that you can only do so much and be kind to yourself. Focus on what you can do and try to accept that you may need help sometimes. If you need support, call our Dementia Connect support line.
- Try not to compare yourself to others in similar situations. You may think they are coping better than you. But everyone’s situation is different and everyone faces their own challenges. You are doing the best you can. Speak with other carers on our online community.
3. Keep a daily routine
- Find a new routine that works for you and the person you care for. Coronavirus is likely to disrupt your usual daily routine. A new routine can give you both a sense of purpose, pass the time and help you manage difficult feelings, like worry and frustration.
- Try writing a weekly plan. Where possible, include activities that will help with your wellbeing. For example, exercise, reading a book or gardening.
4. Stay active and healthy
- Try finding activities you enjoy that help you get moving. Exercise is good for all our wellbeing and mental health – even when it’s a small amount. You could try dancing, gardening, exercise videos or home-versions of sports. You can add your activities to your daily routine. Do them with the person you support, if appropriate.
- It’s also important to try to eat well. Try to have a balanced diet. Try not to let stress or boredom lead to over-indulging on treats or alcohol. If you enjoy cooking, why not try out some new healthy recipes?
5. Limit how much news you read, watch or listen to
- Try to limit how much time you spend reading, watching or listening to news about the coronavirus. While it’s good to stay up to date, too much of this can feel overwhelming.
- Try setting a specific time for the news each day. Limit how long this is for. And try not to do this too close to when you go to sleep at night.
- Use trustworthy sources for news – like the GOV.UK and NHS websites.
You are not alone
We are here to support you and your loved ones during coronavirus outbreak. If you or someone you care for needs dementia support, call our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456 (open every day). Or if you speak Welsh, call 03300 497 400.
Dementia Connect support line
More advice and information for carers
From Alzheimer's Society
General advice and information for mental health