Taking care of the carer during COVID-19
We understand this is a tough time for our community who are caring for a loved on with Dementia. You have told us that you are feeling anxious about COVID-19, you are missing your family, missing some of the respite you were previously able to access and you are missing the support, chats and laughs form your support groups. On the other hand, some of you have commented you are quite enjoying the forced quiet time!
It is most important that you take care of yourself. It’s only by taking care of yourself that you can continue to provide support to someone else. Here are some quick tips on ways that you can do during this isolation period to take care of yourself.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting adequate rest and sleep, and try and remain as physically active as you can.
Stay socially connected to family, whānau and friends by phone, email, video calls or whatever way you are familiar with. And don’t be afraid to ask for support from them if you need it.
Try and maintain a normal routine especially with activities, mealtimes and bedtimes. This is important for both you and the person you are supporting.
Consider alternatives to the usual respite services, such as activities that you could schedule into that time that give you both pleasure. Arranging a phone call or video chat with the person you care for and a loved one might help you to take a moment for yourself.
Take time for yourself by planning an activity or a rest period whenever you can.
Enjoy the happy moments, because smiling and laughing makes us feel good and improves oxygen intake, stimulates circulation, as well as relaxing our muscles.
If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find more information and support on the Mental Health Foundation website.
Remember, our Community Educators are still here for you. You can call your local Community Educator for support, we are just a phone call away. Find our contact details here.
With thanks to Alzheimers NZ. Visit the Alzheimers NZ website for loads of resources and tips for managing isolation.