Debbie Mandel, a stress management expert, gives advice to those who are care givers for someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is a disease that not only affects the person who is suffering from it, but also affects the people who are in their lives. So in order for a caregiver to keep their life in focus and not get lost in care giving, it is important to remember to nurture your own individuality. Laughter is nature's best medicine after all.
Debbie: Caregivers tend to get immersed in care giving, and they lose their identity; they become that. Madness is contagious, and Alzheimer's is a form of madness, and negativity and bad moods are contagious. It's very important as a caregiver to have a boundary. I like this visualization, there's a giant screen door between me and you. I let the fresh air in through the screen, it keeps the flies out. If I wanna open the screen and let you in, you can come in. If not, I can talk to you through that screen. Caregivers need that screen, they need to take their downtime. They need to delegate, and have others help them out. It's important for them to eat right, to put that oxygen mask on yourself first, not to feel guilty for having fun. To laugh, to watch movies together as therapy. Comedies, get it out, have a good laugh, have a good cry. Find activities that creatively restore you. If your a painter, paint. If you love to cook, you love to garden, you love to write; many people like to journal and chronicle. Because when you put it in writing you objectify it, and you can let it go.
More Videos from Stress Management Series Health Community