Stress Management and Self Care

As a caregiver, how you care for yourself is just as important as the care you provide for your loved one.
two people talking as they walk down the sidewalk

Remember, caring for yourself is not selfish — it is the greatest gift you can give your loved one. In fact, it can be even more important sometimes. When you take care of yourself, you can provide continuing quality care. If you neglect your needs, you’re at a higher risk of depression, burnout, and other health issues. This happens far too often and to many caregivers who have the best of intentions.

Manage Your Stress

While a certain amount of stress is natural, too much stress for anyone can be harmful. When caregivers experience added stress, it can compromise their health and cause anxiety in the person they’re caring for.

Manage stress in a positive way:

  • Find respite options for yourself. The first step is to let others know that you need a break.
  • Explore Adult Day Programs like Alzheimer Calgary's Club 36
  • Spend quality time with family and friends
  • Join a local support group to meet other caregivers
  • Get enough sleep
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Take a walk or spend time outdoors
  • Take part in a new activity that challenges your mind or body
  • Talk to your family doctor
  • Connect to long-distance family and friends via phone or video chat.
  • Schedule a massage, bubble bath or quiet reading time

Other resources:

Conversation Café

Drop in on a Conversation Café event. They’re fun, and they’re happening everywhere. Both you and the person you’re caring for are welcome.

Dementia Network Calgary
Visit their Website

Alberta Health Services Family Caregiver Centre

Connect with other people affected by dementia and their family members. There are coffee meetings and other engaging activities.

Contact (403) 943-1920
Visit their Website

Alberta Health Services Home Care

They will visit your home and discuss the in-home care options that best suit you.

Contact (403) 943-1920
Visit their Website

Calgary Seniors' Resource Society

Free friendly visiting programs, escorted transportation, and reassurance over the phone

Contact (403) 266-6200
Visit their Website

Private organizations

  • Private companies or care attendants can be hired for a specific days and time periods.
    • Ask important questions of the agency and the individual coming into the home, such as:
      • What are their credentials?
      • Are they bonded?
      • Have they had any dementia-specific training?
      • What activities will they plan for your loved one?
      • Do they provide personal care if needed?
      • How will they manage transportation?