Looking after yourself

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Providing care for someone living with dementia takes a tremendous toll on the physical and emotional health of the primary caregiver, yet many caregivers often don't recognize the warning signs, or deny its effects on their health.

Young woman holding toy heart.
"Please don’t ever feel you are alone. Use the support systems that are available...Don’t shut people or support out." – Jane (pictured above), from Newmarket, Ontario. Jane is a caregiver for her mother, Eileen, who lives with Alzheimer's.

How are you sleeping at night? Fine. How many times do you get up during the night? Not many. How many times were you up last night? Oh, twelve. It’s just another sleepless night for the dementia caregiver.

Many caregivers tend to set their own needs aside while caring for the person living with dementia and hope that if they don't think about it, the stress might just go away.

But you need to take care of yourself, too – the information in this section can help you reduce the many stresses associated with caregiving, and help you find resources that support your quality of life.

Reducing caregiver stress

As a caregiver, you need to take care of yourself. You are the most important person in the life of someone living with dementia. There are things you can do to help maintain your health and well-being.

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Senior woman thinking with some concern.

Finding help

Caring for someone with dementia can be a complex task. It can be frustrating, confusing, and emotionally and physically exhausting, though it has its rewards and good times. Whether you're a family, volunteer or paid caregiver, if you’re the only one providing care, you may wish to get help at some time.

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Please don't ever feel alone.