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5 Ways Caregivers Can Care for Themselves Too

5 practical self-care tips for caregivers help care for yourself too

Caregivers need to take care of themselves

U.S. News & World Report wrote about how important it is for family caregivers to care for themselves too.

In the article, Frank Blood shares his personal story. He’s 69 and has been caring for his 78 year old wife for 15 years. She has multiple serious health conditions: two bouts of cancer, advanced COPD, and some memory problems.

Unlike many caregivers, Frank doesn’t feel beaten down, isolated, or depressed and isn’t in poor health.

He says that a strong commitment to self-care is what keeps him healthy and in a positive state of mind.

As Frank says, “We have to maintain our attitude and good health, or the person we’re caring for will suffer.”


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Why self-care for caregivers isn’t just a nice-to-have

The article talks with experts and looks at research studies to understand why self-care is so important for caregivers.

There are three main reasons, but we think the most important one is: if you don’t, one day, you may no longer be able to care for your loved one.

If you don’t take care of yourself, your own health could become so poor that you’re no longer physically able to care for someone else.

5 ways to care for yourself while caregiving

Ok, so now you’re convinced that taking care of yourself is an important part of being a caregiver.

But with all your responsibilities, how do you make it happen?

We summarize 5 practical tips from the article and share suggestions for how to make them happen.

1. Hold family meetings

Talk with siblings and family members to assign clear responsibilities and set expectations so everyone is on the same page.

Include your older adult in these meetings, if possible, so they know the plan too.

Even if someone can’t contribute directly with hands-on care, they can help in other ways, such as paying for in-home help, managing finances, or dealing with health insurance claims.

2. Find a support system

Even if you don’t have family who can help, there are other ways to get support.

Get help from friends, neighbors, or your faith community. Or, find local caregiver support groups.

It’s worth the effort to find resources that increase your options.


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3. Make healthy living a priority

We all know that it’s essential to eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Of course, that’s tough to do when you have limited time and energy.

In this article, we share 6 ways to get help with caregiving so you’ll have the time you need to take those well-deserved breaks to rest, recharge, and keep going.

4. Schedule regular breaks

Taking breaks gives you a way to recharge, both emotionally and mentally.

Talk with a supportive friend, read a book, take a nap, work on a hobby, or take a walk.

Be creative to find ways for you to take more breaks.

For example, Frank Blood says he can get some time for himself because: “I have taped television programs for [my wife] so I know she’s OK for a short while.”

5. Look for available resources

Doctor’s offices, local health organizations, and your local Area Agency on Aging have educational materials and connections to local caregiving resources.

There are also many helpful caregiver resources online (of course, we think DailyCaring is one of the best!).

Here are just a few:

Recommended for you:

By DailyCaring Editorial Team

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.

 

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