A lot of caregivers are adult children caring for their aging parents. It is common to feel self-conscious by this role reversal; embarrassed when bathing, feeding, and supervising a parent; and frustrated when parents ignore advice or refuse help. Caring for a parent is hard work that can be empowering, frustrating, satisfying, and sad. It is common for evolving family dynamics to be stressful. Support groups, religious institutions, long-term care managers, and individual counseling sessions can be helpful in smoothing this transition and maintaining a healthy environment for caregivers and those being cared for.

It is common for caregivers to put the needs of their families before their own, but this complete surrender of self-interests can lead to depression, illness, fatigue, burnout, resentment, and aggravation. Caregivers give better care if they also take care of themselves.

Tips for self care:

  • Plan time away
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Schedule medical and dental appointments for yourself
  • Give yourself credit
  • Treat yourself (e.g. a long bath, small gift, a night out)
  • Stay socially connected to family and friends
  • Get involved in activities that bring you pleasure
  • Seek support
  • Identify signs of depression or stress and get help
  • Get assistance with housekeeping and care giving

Consider these resources for caregivers: