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Taking care of yourself as a caregiver

You may not think of yourself as a caregiver, but if you’re taking time away from your own life to provide direct care for someone else, you’re a caregiver. Chances are we’ll all be one or know someone who is at some point.


Caregiver tips

Higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health effects are common among caregivers. Here are a few tips on how to take care of your own health so you can be strong enough to care for your loved one:

1. Accept offers of help from others and come up with specific tasks they can do, such as help with grocery shopping or other errands

2. Talk with your loved one’s doctors and ask the questions that are on your mind

3. Be open to new technologies that might help you, such as apps for food delivery services and meditation

4. If the emotions of caregiving get in the way of your life, don’t delay in talking with a mental health professional

5. Take breaks whenever you can - caregiving is hard work

6. Keep your loved one’s medical and legal information organized and in one place, so it’s up to date and easy to find when you need it

7. Above all, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. Caregiving is one of the hardest — but most rewarding — jobs.

Caregiver resources

There are many online resources to help guide you through the complex journey of caregiving. Here are a few: