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Family Caregivers Need Care Too!

Senior African American couple using laptop together

Balancing work, kids, school, and being a caregiver for your family member? It’s not an easy job by far. If you don’t usually take time to check on your own health also, take this as a sign to do so. We’ve compiled some helpful suggestions for taking some stress off our hardworking family caregivers. 

Accepting Help is Okay Asking for help does not make you a bad family caregiver! It is very uncommon for one person to be able to do this alone. To have even one other person helping you would take a huge weight off your shoulders. This would also allow you to take walks to de-stress, or to take a good lunch break to nourish your body. 

Get Connected There are so many resources for overwhelmed caregivers. These resources involve support groups, help outlets, and more! It’s very easy to feel like you’re the only one going through a situation but talking to other family caregivers can help you feel validated in your feelings and stress. 

Set Personal Health Goals The main things caregivers forget is their own health. By setting some personal health goals, you will be more inclined to meet those goals. These could include tasks such as, “Take a 10 minute walk every day” Or, “Eat three full meals everyday”. These goals do not have to be hard to achieve but having them will help you remember to care for yourself too. 

Socialize Don’t forget about your friends and social life! Sometimes during the hardest times, having a few good friends around is the therapy you need. Take time to call, see, and communicate with your friends and family. It’s also refreshing to just get out of the house; go get dinner or see a movie with your friends!

Watch for signs of Burnout Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion among caregivers; and it is very common! Burnout can lead to fatigue, depression, and anxiety, which is why it’s important to watch out for the signs within yourself and your caregiver friends. 

Some signs to look out for are: 

• Overreacting to minor annoyances

• Insomnia

• New/Worsening health problems

• Withdrawal from friends/other family members

• Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

• Changes in appetite

We care and appreciate all family caregivers. We want you to care for yourself too! Follow this link to find helpful resources for family caregivers https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/local/info-2017/important-resources-for-caregivers.html Senior Helpers offices across the country stand ready to support and care for your loved one, providing you with some personal time and the comfort of knowing that your loved one is in good hands. Contact your local Senior Helpers today for assistance with activities of daily living, personal care, respite care, and transitions from hospital stay to home.