Family and Caregiver Support

A rewarding, but challenging role

Taking care of a loved one with a chronic condition or who is coming home from the hospital or nursing home can be challenging. Most people are never prepared for it and find themselves in the role of caregiver suddenly. There are ways to make it easier to adjust to your role.

Plan for quality time

Embrace the chance to spend more time with your loved one. Look over old photo albums or play board games together. Go outside for a walk or even a picnic when the weather is nice. The fresh air will do both of you good.

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Find time for yourself

It’s healthy for your mood and your energy level to take a break from your loved one on a regular basis. It can be as simple as a bike ride, a trip to the movies, or seeing friends. Your loved one can meet his or her friends for lunch, take a class, or participate in an activity so you can enjoy the house to yourself for awhile. These refreshing breaks can help make you a more focused, patient caregiver, and can make your loved one’s quality of life better.

Ask for help

Being the main caregiver can be challenging in different ways. Keep your mental, physical, and financial well-being healthy by asking friends and family for help. When family or friends offer to help, be ready with specific ideas about what you need. Give them options. Let them choose something they like to do or fits into their day.

Be patient

Being a caregiver for a spouse, aging parent, child, or other loved one takes time, work, and a lot of patience — with both your loved one and yourself. After all, you’re both new to this situation. Do your best to make sure you get plenty of sleep. It can help you be better prepared for the challenges of the next day.

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