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WHAT ABOUT THE CAREGIVER’S EMOTIONAL HEALTH?


By Dr. Robyn Richardson

There is one group that is frequently overlooked and those are the caregivers. Those that care for special needs children, adults, the elderly, or those with chronic illness. This is an article that can be applied to anyone who has taken care of a loved one or has in some way had to manage responsibility for another person.

There are only 24 hours in a day. You are important enough to find time for self-care. Consider finding creative ways to take care of yourself. Practice mindfulness while sitting at your computer on a Zoom call. Avoid missed opportunities during your daily routine to refuel and rejuvenate yourself. Below are a few resources to guide you in finding support for yourself while caring for others.


Resources

Meals on Wheels ARCH National Respite Network

Caregiver Action Network Caring Bridge

AARP’s Caregiver Resource Foundation Family Caregiver Alliance

Home Instead Senior Care Well Spouse Association


Caregiver’s Do's and Don’ts

DO's

  • Ask family and friends to help with care taking needs

  • Practice relaxation strategies and mindfulness for mental/physical balance

  • Be aware of your feelings towards caretaking, feelings of guilt or excessive sadness could be an indication of being overwhelmed. Do not ignore this.

  • Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly

  • Prioritize items and create a realistic schedule that includes self-care

  • Began or continue a hobby of interest

  • Look for resources to help with caretaking needs

  • Educate yourself on your care recipient’s disorder or disease

DON'T

  • Blame yourself

  • Isolate yourself from family and friends

  • Engage is excessive worry

  • Let your needs take a back seat to the needs of others in your care

  • Forget to appreciate the moments you are with your loved one

  • Ignore feelings of excessive sadness or anxiety


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