Americans will find themselves in the position of “caregiver”
at one time or another within their lives. They will have to care for
aging parents, mentally or physically sick spouses, children with disabilities,
It can be very difficult to find yourself in a position of giving care
to someone who can no longer care for him/herself. It can be stressful,
depressing, tiring, difficult, and overwhelming. Although taking time
for and taking care of yourself is very important when you are in the
position of caregiver, many people do not.
Here are some tips to help you handle the task and title (rewarding
as it might be) of “caregiver.”
• Take one day at a time
• Accept help – yes, maybe you can do it on your own,
but you will be able to do it better if you have some help. Find out
what resources are available to you – maybe there is an adult
day care in your area or other such resources. If people offer help,
accept it – give them specific things that they can do.
• Take care of yourself – eat properly and get sufficient
sleep. Allow yourself a break – take leisure time. Set aside
a little time every day, or even an entire day every week. Watch out
for signs of depression, and seek professional help if needed. Do
not ever feel guilty for taking some time for yourself. After all,
if you do not take proper care of yourself, how can you take proper
care of someone whom you love?
• Share – talk with a friend, loved one, or even a counselor.
Consider joining a support group – there are millions of Americans
who are caregivers, just like you. Do not bottle up your feeling and
troubles. Vent when you need to.
• Always plan ahead – doing so can help eliminate potential
• Educate yourself – learn as much as you can about the
condition of your loved one.
• Accept – accept that you cannot control the disease
or disability. It is out of your control.
• Keep a sense of humor.
For more information and support, check out: http://www.aoa.gov/prof/aoaprog/caregiver/caregiver.asp