National Family Caregivers Month, sponsored by the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), is dedicated to addressing the many challenges facing family caregivers.
Use these tips to ensure that your health is not taking a backseat to your caregiving duties:
- Caregiving is a job, and respite is your earned right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often.
- Watch out for signs of depression, and do not delay in getting professional help when you need it.
- When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do.
- Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors.
- There is a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.
- Trust your instincts. Most of the time they will lead you in the right direction.
- Caregivers often do a lot of lifting, pushing and pulling. Be good to your back.
- Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
- Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.
- Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen.
- Caregiver Action Network: http://caregiveraction.org
Reprinted from “Defining 10 Tips for Family Caregivers” with permission of the Caregiver Action Network.
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