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How Family Caregivers Can Take Care of Themselves While Caring for Others

Caregiver in Rochester MN

The family caregiver of an aging parent or loved one takes on a great deal of responsibilities; no matter what their ailment is, it is up to the caregiver to make sure all of their loved one’s needs are Caregiver in Rochester MNbeing met. Especially for family members who have just taken on this role, all of these added responsibilities can be overwhelming and exhausting, yet can also be a rewarding experience. Getting to spend time with an older family member and assisting them with in-home care is a time that both will cherish, even if it does not always feel that way. As important as caring for an aging loved one is, it is equally as important for the caregiver to take of their own needs.

How Family Caregivers Can Attend to Their Own Needs
If the caregiver is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, burned out, or isolated, they are not going to be at their best when caring for others. Here are some ways they can care for their own needs.

  • Take a Break: If feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it is time for a time-out. Take a moment to do some yoga, go for a walk, listen to music, or anything else that may help improve the caregiver’s mood.
  • Call a Friend: Sometimes the best method of de-stressing is in the form of socialization. Call another family member or friend in order to share how you are feeling.
    Write it Down: Keeping a journal can be extremely therapeutic, by writing down all of the feelings and thoughts you are having at that very moment.
  • Eat Right: Moods can be shifted from positive to negative very quickly when not getting the proper nutrients. Also, make sure not to skip meals because being over-hungry can also cause someone to be impatient and moody.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep: To keep energy, productivity, and the ability to handle stress up, try to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
  • Do Not Skip Doctor’s Appointments: As important as it is that the senior who is receiving elder care has regular checkups to make sure they stay as healthy as possible, the family caregiver also needs to see a doctor regularly to stay healthy. Also, if feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety, or burnout have arisen, tell the doctor because they may be able to offer suggestions to reduce these negative feelings.
  • Ask for Help: There is no shame in asking for help; in fact, it may be beneficial for both the caregiver and the elder if the caregiver is able to take a break to re-energize themselves. Call other family members to find out if they would be able to help.

Even if the senior has not said so, they are greatly appreciative of all that the family caregiver is doing for them. However, when the caregiver takes care of themselves, taking care of others is easy.

If you or someone you know needs caregiver services in Rochester, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.

Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. “Tips for Making Family Caregiving Easier and More Rewarding.” (July 2015).

Lori Seemann

Lori Seemann has a background in nurse management, hands-on critical care and business management. Her clinical expertise and knowledge of information systems had been instrumental in ensuring operational consistency in all branch offices. She led efforts that resulted in implementation of a new home care computer system that is utilized for staffing, scheduling, clinical records and billing. Lori continues to seek opportunities to improve caregiver productivity through nurse utilization of a unique point of care laptop computer system.