Supporting the primary caregivers in your family

Support is important for senior caregivers

You might have a family member who is helping someone with an ongoing condition. Mom helping Dad manage his dementia. Your brother or sister helping your parents get around in their older years. The caregiver role can be challenging and stressful without strong support from family and friends.

When it comes to giving support, helping starts by listening. Ask questions, so you can understand the situation better. Check out these and other caregiver support tips.

Start by asking how you can help. You might have ideas already about what you do to help. But ask your family members what they need first. You might be surprised what simple things you can do to make things easier for them.

Check in to see how the caregiver is doing. It is natural to focus your concern and questions on the health of the one being cared for. Remember, though, to ask about the health and mental well-being of the caregiver as well.

Be available. Sometimes, just knowing that help is just a phone call or a car ride away can be comforting. If you can, let caregivers know they can call you to ask questions, run an errand or simply talk about how the day is going.

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When it comes to your health, there is so much you can do to help you feel good. Eating better, reducing stress and increasing exercise all may go a long way to helping you maintain a healthy life. But self-care doesn’t mean “do-it-yourself” care …

As your parents get older, they may be thinking more about ways to stay active and eat healthier. Or they may not want to change habits because it is too difficult or they feel fine. Either way, it is important for them to take care of their health. Try an approach that focuses on their strengths and tastes. This can encourage your folks by making healthy habits less about overcoming obstacles and more about enjoying life. The healthy aging tips below can help get you started.