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4.7 Practice self-care

Self-care is an investment in your own mental health


Self-care means putting time into looking after yourself. Looking after yourself might mean going on holiday, getting enough rest, grooming and getting dressed nicely, or doing other things just ‘for yourself’. Self-care is an investment in your mental health and ability to move forward in supporting someone with dementia. 

Practice your spirituality

For some people, spirituality is about practicing their religion. This might include praying or meditation or going to church, mosque, temple, or synagogue. It might mean behaving according to the teachings of your faith. 

For other people spirituality is about connecting with nature and the wider world, or themselves. They may practice mindfulness or spend time absorbed in nature.  

Irrespective of what spirituality means to you, there is evidence people who belong to a faith community, or practice mindfulness have better mental health and cope better.  

Be socially active

Dementia has an impact on your social life. Some care partners tell us that it has brought them closer to their family, others have found that friends fall away. Keeping contact with a range of people and maintaining social networks is very important for your mental health.  

Reach out to friends, even if you’re not usually the person who does organizing of social events. Ask a close friend or family member to help you connect with other friends and family. Article 2.7 Reactions of family and friends to the diagnosis provides information about other’s reactions, while article 2.8 Sharing the dementia diagnosis shares tips on talking with friends and family about dementia.  

Consider finding new social groups, especially those that will provide a supportive atmosphere. Support groups are a great way to find people who understand your situation. See the article on this website entitled ‘Get trustworthy, up-to-date information about dementia’. 

For more information about support groups or for the contact information of your local Alzheimer’s Society, please view this page which includes available information for Canadian provinces and territories.  

Be Socially Active

  • Join a group to stay social, such as a reading club at a public library, or a knitting club at a local community or resource centre. 

Practice Self Care

  • Plan to do something for yourself each week that you enjoy. This may mean going for a walk around the block to enjoy the fresh air, painting or drawing, or reading a chapter of a good book. 

Go to the next section on Making plans and decisions.

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