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Published on May 28, 2014

Care for the Caregiver

May 28, 2014

Man holding his mother's handIf you are among the 65 million Americans serving as a primary caretaker for a family member, caring for your self needs to be a priority. Meeting the physical, emotional, and other daily needs of a sick or disabled loved one can be exhausting.

“Find ways to take care of yourself so you can thrive,” says Sue Goudy, volunteer coordinator and Transitions coordinator at KishHealth System Hospice. “If a caregiver becomes so worn out that that he or she can’t provide help, both people are negatively affected.”

Lean On Others

Caregivers need a support network comprised of friends, family members, or other sources.

“It’s important for caregivers to ask for help,” Goudy says. “Community resources can be a gold mine of information. The perfect answer may not exist, but a caregiver will benefit by checking out what’s available. You may not be aware of resources that can provide relief.”

Take A Break

Set aside time to grab coffee with friends, see a movie, or just chat. Friends can offer the opportunity to vent about daily stresses or provide a needed break in the form of companionship and easy conversation.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Sharing your needs and the needs of your loved ones with friends, family, and healthcare providers is essential to taking care of yourself and your family member.

KishHealth System Hospice can help you communicate effectively and assertively. To learn more about resources for caregivers, call 815.756.3000. Caring for the Caregiver classes are held regularly in DeKalb. To find dates and times, visit www.kishprograms.org

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