As a care partner, you play an integral role in ensuring your members with dementia have all the tools they need to enjoy life beyond their diagnosis. You’ve selflessly taken on the responsibility of overseeing their health, wellness, diet, and activities–to name a few. Your job is about providing care for others, and we know how much passion you have for this role. But, how much time have you dedicated to taking care of yourself? And more importantly, what steps should you take to lower your risk of developing dementia?
Jessica, a Training, Engagement, and Education Specialist with Oakwood Creative Care, suggest taking advantage of opportunities to indulge in your passions. Hobbies, such as music, hiking, and art, are all great for lowering stress levels while delivering healthy doses of dopamine to your brain. According to research, these chemical messengers play a specific role in rewarding our brains, making us feel good, and enhancing our motivation. Plus, using your passions as a way to relieve stress can actually lower your risk for dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society states that when we become stressed, our bodies take a greater hit to their immune systems. Additionally, other studies have found that the effects of chronic stress on our brains can put us at an accelerated risk of cognitive decline.
So, if you are looking for a new hobby to take up and want to double down on improving your overall wellness, consider a new workout routine! Dedicating even 30 minutes a day to regular physical exercise is one of the greatest things you can do to enhance your mind, body, and spirit. Prospective studies on the correlation between physical exercise and brain health have found that daily physical activity can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 45%. Want to know the best part about physical exercise? It is completely customizable, can be taken at your own pace on your own time, and can even be done while sitting down! EngAGE EnCOURAGE™ houses a Wellness & Fitness Library of exercise videos that are not just a benefit to the members you care for but to you, too!
Lastly, look forward to making your days about creating connections and moments of success instead of checking off everything on your task list. Some things might not be completed in one day – but that’s okay! There are only so many hours a day, so don’t feel you have to burn yourself out running the hamster wheel to get it all done at once. Remember, stress can significantly affect your mental and emotional health. So instead, consider looking at your daily routine to identify ways to optimize personal connections and set aside valuable time for self-care. This may come as trial and error because we know your schedule is packed, and not everything will be a precise fit. But still, find the opportunity to celebrate those moments of success you do find and look forward to the days ahead!
EngAGE EnCOURAGE™ offers an easy-to-use e-learning platform designed for care partners wishing to get people learning, laughing, and creating. This engaging communication treats people with cognitive impairment as valued individuals and improves their quality of life.
EngAGE EnCOURAGE™ provides a quality curriculum for resident or member programming at assisted living communities, adult day clubs, and memory care providers. Reach us via email or toll-free by phone at (602) 418-5196.