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The difficult balance of caring for ourselves

Caring is very integrated and standardised in our society. Most people have cared, are caring or will one day care. This idea is so widespread that it seems that anyone should be able to care and be prepared for it.

Today, there are many professionals who provide formal care in different health care settings. But still, much of the care work is carried out by informal carers (family, friends...etc.). Those who, when faced with a situation of need in a person close to them, assume the role of caregiver voluntarily or by imposition.

There are many occasions in which the informal carer begins his or her path towards dementia, in a precipitate and unplanned manner. They begin to care intensely, using almost exclusively their goodwill. Over time, this path becomes hard, long and increasingly complex and this becomes a major burden on the caregiver's life and health.

Then physical, emotional and social changes begin to appear, which in many cases are unmanageable. But the caregiver, immersed in the routine of care, finds no time to reflect on their situation and their own needs. In this way, they often end up getting sick.

Walking the road to dementia as a caregiver is a great challenge that entails a significant physical, psychological and emotional toll. It is of real importance to find the balance that allows us to "take care of ourselves".

As professionals we must not only stand by the caregiver who is experiencing dementia. We must also work towards their empowerment. The aim is for the carer to feel capable and to carry out their work in a conscious, responsible, autonomous and effective way. Similarly, empowering a carer also involves providing them with sufficient support, energy and motivation to be able to carry out the role of carer to the best of their ability.

From a humble perspective and aware of the complexity of caring in dementia and the circumstances that surround it, we invite you to participate in a time of reflection and awareness, which may reveal to us the importance of maintaining health in caregivers. As well as, the need to develop strategies that help us to care and not give our health in the attempt. 



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