Rule #1 of senior caregiver support: Take care of yourself!

Do you find yourself in the position of caregiver, perhaps providing support for a senior in your life? Whether it’s a parent, close friend, neighbor or family member, senior caregiver support is a subject that should be taken quite seriously. And the most important thing caregivers need to remember, is self-care.

Caregivers are very giving people who may work many hours a day, often on top of their regular jobs and other day-to-day responsibilities. If you are a caregiver, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you eating properly? Fast food might be easier, but too much of it is not healthy.
  • Are you getting adequate rest? Depriving yourself of sleep is not good for you or the individual you are assisting.
  • Are you staying active, both mentally and physically? In other words, don’t let your caregiver routine take over your life.
  • Senior caregiver support tips
  • Take time to recharge your batteries. There are local organizations that provide respite care for caregivers. Take advantage of those services, or ask a friend or relative to take over, even if it’s just for a day or a few hours.
  • Stay socially connected. Don’t sacrifice your friendships and activities to devote yourself 100 percent to someone else’s life. You need to live, too, and doing the things you enjoy will also help to relieve stress.
  • Ask for help. There are numerous support groups for caregivers, so take advantage of them either in-person or online. You are not alone!

Learn more about support services available to caregivers through Erie County Senior Services.

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