Caregiver holds the hand of a patient with Alzheimer's Disease.

Self-Care for Caregivers

We all know it’s important to take care of ourselves, but for those of us caring for aging loved ones, it can be a really hard thing to do. However, caregiving is such a labor of love that it’s so important to make sure you’re taking time for yourself. In this article we have a few tips on self-care for caregivers. 

  • Make time for yourself. When you’re caring for someone else, it can be easy to put the blinders on and focus only on that person and their needs, but ultimately, that’s just not healthy. When you’re a caregiving, you have to make time for yourself a priority. This helps you watch for signs of stress in yourself like impatience, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and more. You want to make sure you don’t get burnout, both for your sake and for the sake of your loved one. 
  • Stay healthy. Again, when you’re looking after someone else, it can be easy to focus on their health, but your health matters too! Make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, getting sleep, and finding some time to move your body. 
  • Do things enjoyable to you. While you might think it’s enough to give yourself a little me time and make healthy choices, you need to use some of the time to yourself to do things that are enjoyable for you. Life shouldn’t feel like work and a never ending to do list for you. That’s not healthy. Even if it’s only 30 minutes each week, rediscover a new hobby, spend some time reading, or doing another activity you might enjoy. Whatever time you can carve out for yourself is so important. 
  • Ask for help. You might wonder how you’re supposed to accomplish all of this with all of the other things you have to do, and that’s why it’s so important to ask for help. Get family members and friends to help you with chores, meals, childcare, or other tasks. You can utilize adult daycare services in your area if they’re available or see if someone you trust can sit with your loved one even for just a few hours each week to give yourself a break. If it’s financially feasible, you can also hire out certain tasks like cleaning, meals, or even someone to sit with your loved one or help them with certain tasks. Asking for help can also look like talking to family members, other caregivers, or a support group about the issues you’re facing. 
  • Check out our Family Caregiver Program for support for caregivers who provide in-home care to a loved-one sixty years and older. The Family Caregiver Program reduces caregiver burdens by providing emotional support, resources, education and hope for caregivers. An assessment with the caregiver is completed to identify the assistance needed and what resources are available to help.