A Caregiver’s Guide
Being a caregiver can be both rewarding and challenging.
It is common and normal for caregivers to experience a wide range of emotions with many ups and downs. Over time, there will be changes in your loved one’s habits, preferences and condition that may cause concern, but please be assured that these changes can be a part of a natural progression. We are here to help you understand what is happening and to help coach you through these changes so that you feel confident that your loved one is comfortable and receiving the best possible care.
This section will provide some helpful caregiving information and tips regarding some of the symptoms you may encounter when taking care of your loved one.
Taking Care of Yourself, the Caregiver
Please remember that in order for you to provide your best, you must take care of yourself. Finding ways to alleviate stress levels is beneficial so you can focus on the essence of all the good in what you are doing.
Take Care of Yourself Emotionally
- Take a break at least once a day go outside (even if for just a few minutes), take a walk, read a book, see friends or go to a movie).
- Talk about how you feel with friends and family; join a support group.
- Ask for help and let others help you—keep a list of things that need to be done so you can more easily delegate. People want to help.
- Take a deep breath several times throughout the day.
Take Care of Yourself Physically
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet at regular intervals and drink plenty of water.
- Avoid using alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or food to cope.
- Keep an exercise routine—at least 20 minutes a day of physical activity, like walking.
- Keep any medical appointments.
- Be sure you are getting enough rest and sleeping well. Please tell your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.