Caring for Caregivers

As a family caregiver, it's normal to experience stress. It's hard to see your loved one struggle, and assist them while balancing your other responsibilities. Read on for some important tips for reducing stress:

1. Reach Out

You don't have to face all the challenges of being a caregiver on your own. Establish a network of friends and family you can depend on to help provide the best care for your loved one. Don't let pride, embarrassment or any other kind of worry at the back of your mind prevent you from getting help from a person who is probably eager to step in if only you would ask!

2. Self-Care

Caring for a loved one does not mean you should neglect your own health. Only if you are healthy yourself can you provide care for others. Remember to regularly take any medication prescribed by your physician. Eat a steady and healthy diet and take rest whenever you can.

3. Don't be Too Hard on Yourself

Taking even a little bit of time off for yourself can often result in a feeling of guilt, as if you are neglecting your loved one or not doing enough to help. Such thoughts are self-defeating, and feelings of defeat don't particularly help your loved one either. Whether you need a time out or a week off, take pride in doing the right thing for yourself and your loved one.

4. Enjoy your Loved One's Company

Love made you become a caregiver in the first place. Think of new ways for both of you to enjoy each other's company and help pass the time you spend together. This will help avoid conflict and remind your loved one of why you are there with them.