Caring for the Caregiver

You are NOT Alone

About 80% of caregiving in the home is done by family.

 Taking care of someone is work. There are people who get paid to do what you do for free.

It is necessary to take care of yourself so you can continue taking care of your loved one.

Ways to Avoid Exhaustion and Burnout

  • Take time to do something for yourself everyday.
  • You don’t need to do everything yourself.
  • Ask for help in specific ways-meal preparation, household chores or maintenance.
  • Take care of your own health, eat healthy and exercise.
  • Learn about the disease process so you know what to expect.
  • Join a support group- inperson, online or by phone. To locate help near you click here.
  • Don’t take frustration, anger or difficult behavior problems personally.
  • Use Adult Daycare, HomeCare, or Respite.
  • Contact your State Unit on Aging or Area Agency on Aging to learn about programs that may help with the cost.

How Do You Know When It’s Time for Long Term Care?

As dementia progresses, the ability to independently bathe, dress, eat and go to the bathroom becomes more difficult. Wandering and mixing up day and night can lead to sleepless nights for you. Sometimes other illnesses such as cardiac or respiratory disease progress or a fall occurs, then subacute rehab.

The tipping point is often a combination of nighttime behaviors and incontinence (when someone can’t control their bladder &/or bowels).

Caregivers often become ill from the stress of caregiving. Make sure your own health records include that you are a caregiver for someone at home. This information will alert your hospital staff that your loved one may need urgent help at home.

Why Should I Care?

Caregiver burnout is a leading cause of elder abuse.

If you don’t take care of yourself,

you wont be able to take care of anyone else.