Advice for Carers
Take care of yourself whilst caring for someone with ADHD. Here are some strategies to help you along the way. Our expert therapists are here to advise you.
We Care for ADHD Carers
Even though people who are diagnosed with ADHD later in life are adults, it is still helpful to have someone to care for them. Research shows that many people with ADHD experience high levels of self-doubt and low self-esteem, and often feel ashamed or embarrassed by their symptoms. For this reason, it can be beneficial if those around them offer positive feedback and encouragement to help boost their sense of self-worth.
A carer can also work with the adult with ADHD to set up reminders of their tasks for the day. This can be in the form of post-it notes on a wall they commonly walk past to keep reminding them of what they need to do. This replaces the need to hold information in the brain which is beneficial for people with ADHD as they commonly have executive dysfunction.
If you feel overwhelmed or need help, please get in touch to speak to an expert.
Look After Yourself
Self-care is often neglected by carers due to the demand of caring for someone with ADHD. Often, the carer cares so much about wanting to help someone that they might neglect parts of their life. One of the best things to do when caring for someone else is to practise self-care. When the carer is free it is important they refresh their mind and relax and mindfulness or meditation is a great way to achieve that. Eat right, exercise, and find ways to reduce stress, whether it means taking a nightly bath or practising morning meditation. If you do get sick, acknowledge it and get help. Fitting in a bit of daily exercise boosts energy and can help carers to keep healthy and well. If possible, try and take a brisk 10 minute walk each day.
Maintaining a positive attitude also helps not only for motivation for the carer, but it also sets a good example for the individual with ADHD. When carers are calm and focused, they are more likely to be able to connect with the individual, helping them to be calm and focused as well.
Setting boundaries is another good way for a carer to take care of themselves. Boundaries are good when caring for adults with ADHD as it means the carer gets to also have a break and prevents neglection of their own life.
As a carer, it can be hard emotionally and physically. However, support is available, but there are often barriers to getting help. Research has found that one such barrier is that many carers don’t recognise themselves as carers. Support doesn’t have to come from an outside organisation. Even talking things through with friends and family will help. They may not realise how care duties are impacting the carer. Searching for local support groups or carer support groups can help carers to have an outlet.
Not only do these things help the depressed individual with tasks and daily activities. They also provide social support to the individual. This is extremely important in depression. Research has shown social support to be a stress buffer which means depressed individuals are likely to experience less stress when they have more social support.
How You Can Help Your Loved One
People who are diagnosed with ADHD as adults, usually need someone to support them with day to day tasks and organisation. Research shows that many people with ADHD experience high levels of self-doubt and low self-esteem, and often feel ashamed or embarrassed by their symptoms. For this reason, it can be beneficial if those around them offer positive feedback and encouragement to help boost their sense of self-worth.
Your friend or family member with ADHD will sometimes have trouble listening and processing what people say in conversations. Making sure the lines of communication are wide open and transparent can really help. It maybe frustrating to speak to someone who you feel isn’t listening, so some conscious effort on your part at patience and understanding would go a long way. This can even be challenging for your loved one with ADHD too, many of who feel they are being ‘written off’ as too self absorbed or inattentive or that they aren’t being heard. Carers need to listen actively which helps individuals living with ADHD remember they are valued and cared for.
Encouraging your loved one to Stick to a routine is also extremely important for a supporting family to reinforce as it helps the adult with ADHD to navigate daily life.
You may want to work with the adult with ADHD to set up reminders of their tasks for the day. This can be in the form of post-it notes on a wall they commonly walk past to keep reminding them of what they need to do. This replaces the need to hold information in the brain which is beneficial for people with ADHD as they commonly have executive dysfunction.