Family Caregivers, You Are Not Alone
Family caregiving can be demanding and stressful, but has its rewards. Properly manage your caregiving responsibilities can help to control the stress so you can better appreciate your role.
You are not alone. Millions of Americans regularly care for an elderly relative or friend. Your physical, mental and emotional health and that of your family and the person you are caring for plays a great role in the success of your caregiving
Respite Care: Family Relief
You will need regular breaks from caregiving. Not talking a break will take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health.
A respite could be just a few hours or a day away with friends, an afternoon of personal errands, or an exercise break. Or it could be a vacation away for a while.
You can find relief from numerous sources
- Relatives and friends
- Professional home providers
- Adult day centers
- Senior centers
Talk with your loved one about it respite care, explaining the up side for everyone. Be sure to involve you loved one in making the arrangements.
Caring for Yourself and Preventing Burnout
Tender Loving Family Care recommends that you practice the following to relieve stress and maintain optimal health:
- Exercise — make it part of your schedule.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Eat regular, well-balanced meals.
- Maintain friendships for emotional support.
- Stay or get involved in hobbies and social activities.
- Join a support group.
- Visit your doctor and discuss concerns you have about the effects of caregiving on your physical, mental and emotional health.
- Pamper yourself.
- Record your thoughts and feelings, perhaps in a journal.
- Know your limits. You know what other responsibilities you have, so be realistic about how much time you can give to caregiving. Do not be afraid to delegate.
- Learn about caregiving and your loved one’s needs or illness
How a Support Group Can Help You
Community Support Groups…
- Get you out of the house on a regular basis and prevent isolation.
- Put you face-to-face with other caregivers who know what you are dealing with. From their experience, they can offer you relevant advice.
- Offer you information about local resources available to help you.
- Open the opportunity for new friendships.
Internet Support Groups…
- Enable you to get support and advice as needed and when convenient for you.
- Provides support without having to leave the house, which could be particularly helpful for those with limited transportation or mobility.
- Provide the experience and knowledge of a broader pool of participants, which could be especially helpful if your loved one has a rare medical condition and special care needs.
- Caregiver Support and Advice on the Web