Supporting the emotional and physical needs of another person can be both exhausting and extremely rewarding. If you are an adult child with parents in need of support, it is a way to give back the love and nurturing they provided you. There are online support groups just for family care partners. Review the Savvy’s Caregivers education guide (part 1 and part 2) for more tips and articles on how to become a Savvy Caregiver. Here are some things to remember:
- Take care of your health. Don’t neglect your own doctor’s appointments. Your physical and emotional strength is needed to support your loved one.
- Set realistic goals each day. Don’t try to overdo it. Caregiver burnout is a very real and serious thing.
- Eat balanced meals often. Avoid skipping meals. Carry a protein snack with you just in case you are waiting in a doctor’s office for a prolonged period.
- Sleeplessness is common, but you need sleep to recharge your energy. If you are experiencing sleep disturbances, check in with your doctor.
- Don’t give up activities you love. You need time to relax and do things you enjoy. Make time for yourself at least once a week if not more often. Even a walk around the block can give you the strength needed to support your loved one.
If you are starting to feel the burnout of caregiving, find respite care or support immediately. If you need care during the day while you are at work, look for adult day care in your area.