Self-Care (caregiver)

The Emotional Side of Caregiving

Whether you become a caregiver gradually or all of sudden due to a crisis, or whether you are a caregiver willingly or by default, many emotions surface when you take on the job of caregiving. Some of these feelings happen right away and some don’t surface until you have been caregiving for awhile. Whatever your situation, it is important to remember that you, too, are important. All of your emotions, good and bad, about caregiving are not only allowed, but valid and important.

So Tired From All My Parents' Doctor Appointments That I Hate Seing One Myself

I have multiple illnesses and receive only SSI, though I did try to work some freelance after getting disability. I am currently living with, and trying to look after two parents. They are in their late 80s/early 90s and very luckily have only mild dementia. I attribute some of this to the fact that I am there and, being a person who is interested in many things, create a stimulating environment.

When Caregiving Ends

Caregiving can last for many years.  Caregivers set their own lives aside to care for someone else.  When that person dies, caregivers have to figure out what to do with their lives now.  There is no preparation for this transition.  Generally you are so busy caregiving, and life changed so long ago, that there has not been time nor energy or even the psychological will to think about what comes next.  Here are some tips that might help you during this time:

A Caregiver’s Bill of Rights

I have the right . . .

  • To take care of myself.  This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capacity of taking better care of my relative.
  • To seek help from others even though my relative may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.
  • To maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things for myself.

Caregiver Self Care: Caring for You

The care you give to yourself is the care you give to your loved one.

  • Learn about the disease your loved on has.  Find out about what is happening now and what will happen in the future with this disease.  The more you know, the more you will be able to plan.
  • Use community resources.  The more you let these services help you, the less you have to do.  There are places to get help:
    • Your local Area Agency on Aging
    • Paratransit
    • Meals on Wheels
    • Day Care Programs

Caregiver Health

A Population at Risk

An estimated 44 million Americans age 18 and older provide unpaid assistance and support to older people and adults with disabilities who live in the community.1 The value of this unpaid labor force is estimated to be at least $306 billion annually,2 nearly double the combined costs of home health care ($43 billion) and nursing home care ($115 billion).3

Seasons of Care: Wellness and Self-Care for the Family Caregiver

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week education program developed by Legacy Caregiver Services and Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging for family and friends caring for older adults with cognitive and chronic impairment. The program focuses on the self-care of family caregivers. A train-the-trainer education program is available to professionals interested in using this intervention in their work with caregivers. (Winner of the 2007 National Family Caregiving Award in the "Education" category)


Legacy Caregiver Services

Taking Care of SoMEone Else!

A dynamic 2-hour workshop for YOU, the caregiver! The caregiving of your family member may extend over many years, and the tendency may be to set your life aside during this time. You are invited to stay open to change, to think about other ways you might be handling your caregiving situation, and how you can take action on YOUR OWN behalf by learning a few tools to help YOU take care of YOU!
Subjects covered are: steps to identify sources of stress and how to manage them, negative self-talk, inability to ask for help, and identifying what we can and cannot change.

Powerful Tools for Caregiving

It's not easy balancing your caregiving role and other parts of your life when you care for someone with a chronic health condition such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's or stroke. Powerful Tools is a FREE, six-week class (1 day a week) giving caregivers invaluable tools to help reduce stress, make difficult decisions, communicate more effectively in challenging situations, and most importantly, prevent caregiver burnout!


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