Tips For Family Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourself

Tips For Family Caregivers

One of the most crucial things you can do as a caregiver is to look after yourself. Caregiving is not easy. Everyone has to make adjustments and give up something. Family caregivers often have to balance work and family obligations to find time for these new responsibilities.

Caring for an older person can also be gratifying. Many people discover that taking care of others makes them feel fulfilled and that they enjoy being needed and useful. However, even the strongest person might become overburdened by the constant responsibilities of caring for someone else. Therefore, you must take care of yourself. This article can assist you in determining how to care for your own well-being so that you can care for others.

What signs point to the need for assistance?

A caregiver’s work is very selfless. Numerous caregivers neglect their own well-being due to the overwhelming amount of work they undertake. For instance, they are less likely than others to engage in routine self-care and to receive preventative medical services like annual checkups. Consequently, they are more likely to experience chronic diseases like high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and problems with their physical and mental health. They are even at a higher risk of dying prematurely.

It is not always clear when someone requires assistance. Look out for these indicators of caregiver stress:

  • Feeling anxious, worn out, or overburdened
  • Getting agitated or impatient easily
  • Feeling lonely or disconnected from other people
  • Not getting enough sleep or having problems falling asleep.
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or a loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities
  • Frequently experiencing pain, headaches, or other health issues
  • Not having enough time to work out or make nutritious food for yourself
  • Neglecting personal hygiene routines like brushing your teeth or taking showers
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medicines

Avoid waiting until you are completely overwhelmed. Take measures to reduce stressors when you can and become aware of your own warning flags.

How to ask others for help

Accepting assistance from others is not always easy. It is possible that you’re worried about being a burden or that you find it awkward to acknowledge that you need help. However, many caregivers later regret not asking for more support from friends and family because they felt they handled too much alone.

Know that many individuals want to help and that contributing makes them happy. If you have trouble asking for help, consider the following tips:

  • If it is easier for you, start with small requests. It is possible to divide enormous jobs into smaller, more manageable ones.
  • If you feel uncomfortable asking in person, consider expressing your request via email or text.
  • Consider a person’s abilities and interests when determining how they can assist.
  • Have a list of tasks that need to get done ready, then let the other person select what they want to accomplish.
  • Be truthful about the things you require and don’t need. Not every offer will be helpful.
  • It is typical for some people to say “no,” so don’t take it personally.

Who can you ask for help?

Although asking for assistance from family and friends is an excellent option, caregivers can also find support from others. Other people who could be able to assist are:

Your Doctor

Inform your physician that you work as a caregiver. They can offer you guidance on maintaining your emotional and physical well-being. Healthcare providers might also be aware of the options available in your community, such as support groups and respite care.

A counselor or other Mental Health Practitioner

There is support available if you’re experiencing depression, frustration, or anxiety. Consult your physician for recommendations on counselors, and inquire about the coverage of your plan from your health insurance provider.

Your Local Facilities

These include your local senior center, state office on aging or social services office, or local Area Agency on Aging. These organizations are likely to be knowledgeable about community resources and can even provide tips on how to access them.

Your Faith Community

Larger congregations can hold caregiver support groups. You can also approach your rabbi, pastor, or other religious authority for assistance.

What else can a caregiver do when they feel overwhelmed?

Taking care of your personal needs could be the last thing on your mind if you’re feeling overburdened with caregiving. However, taking care of yourself might help you to be a better caregiver. You’ll have more energy and strength to care for someone else if you can find little methods to improve your mood and reduce stress.

Here are a few tips to consider when you’re feeling stressed. Remember that you don’t have to accomplish everything all at once, especially if the concept of self-care makes you feel even more weary.

Be Active

Find an activity that you enjoy. That could be going on a stroll, dancing, gardening, or playing with a pet. Exercise, even for short periods of time, is advantageous.

Eat Healthily

Aim for a diet that is well-balanced and rich in a range of nutritious foods. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Sleep Well

Make an effort to sleep for seven to nine hours every night. Create a peaceful bedtime routine to help you fall asleep faster. Aim for the same time every day to go to bed and wake up.

Reduce Stress

Try doing some relaxation exercises like yoga, tai chi, or meditation. Get a smartphone app that offers calming music or guided meditations.

Allow Yourself Some Time to Relax.

Set aside time each week for a hobby or pastime unrelated to caregiving. Simple activities like reading a magazine, watching your favorite TV show, or engaging in a hobby can suffice.

Take care of Your Health.

Schedule that appointment with the doctor you’ve been putting off. Inform your doctor that you are a caregiver, and they might be able to recommend local or online resources for you.

Seek Assistance

Consult a mental health professional for counseling, or speak with a trusted friend or family member. Join a caregiver support group in person or online. These people are aware of your situation and might be able to offer guidance or recommendations.

Take a Break

Seek assistance from a different family member or friend, enroll the older person in an adult day care facility, or employ an attendant to help for a few hours each week.

Be Kind to Yourself.

You don’t always need to put up a happy front. Sadness, frustration, and guilt are acceptable and natural emotions. Write in a journal or talk to a friend to express your feelings.

Remind yourself that you are not alone and that you are doing the best you can. It might be difficult for many caregivers to take care of their own health and well-being. But remember to take pride in all that you’ve accomplished. The person you are providing care for benefits significantly from your assistance.

Donate Today to Support Caregivers!

Caregiving is a demanding task that often leaves the caregivers physically, emotionally, and financially unstable. The least we can do is to try to alleviate some of their burden by supporting them via donations.

November is National Family Caregivers Month! Let’s honor the dedication and sacrifices of the family caregivers who devote their lives and resources to caring for their loved ones! Don’t forget to support them, which you can do by acknowledging their hard work and donating as much as possible:


  1. Taking Care of Yourself: Tips for Caregivers. National Institute on Aging. Accessed: 8th Nov, 2023.
  2. Caregiver stress: Tips for taking care of yourself. Mayo Clinic. Accessed: 8th Nov, 2023.

How to Prepare to Become a Family Caregiver

How To Prepare To Become A Family Caregiver

Being a family caregiver generally starts with two conflicting realities: you are glad to help because you love your loved one, but there is frequently little time to prepare for the situation. Put another way, while most adult children are happy to take care of their aging parents, they are rarely prepared for the occasion when it arises.

Following a significant medical procedure or event, caregiving obligations may appear out of the blue. Alternatively, it might be the realization that your loved one is gradually losing their health and that you need to take action to protect and take care of them.

Here are some measures you may take to get ready to become a family caregiver whenever that time comes.

1. Remember Why

Being a family caregiver is a challenging yet gratifying job. It is beneficial to begin your new dedication with an upfront reminder of why you are doing this in the first place. Whether your connection with your aging parent or parents is complicated or you are close to them, having a clear understanding of “the why” will help you approach the work with generosity and stay focused even on the most difficult days.

Numerous factors motivate a family caregiver to assume the role, such as:

  • An opportunity to give back. Giving care is a chance for us to repay our parents or other parental figures for all that they have done for us. While many people have troubled relationships with their family members, a common need might provide an opportunity for healing.
  • Spend meaningful time with your loved one. Regardless of how long or short your time as a caregiver is, every day is an opportunity to spend time with your loved one. Unexpected moments of vulnerability, understanding, and humor that may not have occurred in earlier phases of your relationship will arise from this endeavor.
  • Accepting care can be a challenging change for your elderly parent or loved one. Your determination to keep care in the family can be a reassuring and welcome next step in the aging process.

2. Understand Your Responsibilities

A family caregiver has many responsibilities to balance. While every circumstance is different, it is critical to assess your loved one’s health, living arrangements, and daily needs, which should include:

  • Administering medication
  • Monitoring crucial statistics
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Housekeeping or yard work
  • Make safety adjustments throughout the home.
  • Support with cleanliness and personal care
  • Surveilling and managing finances
  • Communicating with loved ones and friends
  • Coordination with professional care

3. Assess Your Caregiving Capacity

Caring for family members puts additional emotional and physical strain on the caregiver. Although rewarding, this effort is taxing, and caregivers sometimes underestimate their own needs. It may soon result in burnout and a reduced ability to provide care. Now is the moment to start preparing measures to protect your own physical and mental well-being:

  • Assess your fitness. Determine whether you can consistently complete the activities without hurting yourself by taking stock of the physical demands imposed by your loved one’s condition. Consult your and your loved one’s physician regarding the procedures and measures required to provide safe care for them. Ask someone close to you and your loved one, or look for professional options if you feel that you cannot physically fulfill the duties of being a family caregiver.
  • Make a commitment to self-care. Include nutritious meals, frequent exercise, and meditation in your caregiving routine. Plan to attend therapy or support group sessions, doctor’s appointments, and religious ceremonies.
  • Create a care circle. Even if you are the primary caregiver, a team is required to minimize burnout and offer long-term care for your loved one. It’s also vital to consider the experts participating in your loved one’s care, such as physicians, visiting caretakers, and any specialists. A strong and coherent care circle is a crucial support structure that can significantly improve your experience as a family caregiver.

4. Talk to Your Family

As the primary caregiver, you may bear the majority of the daily responsibilities, but this does not imply that you must do everything on your own. Your family can help with the process in a variety of ways.

  • Involve close family members. Close family members, such as siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews, may be able to offer practical aid. It could be anything from sitting with a loved one while you work or take care of personal needs to providing assistance with chores.
  • Engage family members in health monitoring. With the use of technology, including secure and smart medical devices, other family members can assist in the monitoring of long-term medical disorders or keep tabs on their loved one’s condition from anywhere.
  • Evaluate the home safety. Things that were formerly safe can suddenly become hazards in the house as individuals age. For instance, bathtubs might present a trip risk. Counter edges may present a higher risk. It could become challenging to climb stairs. Make sure that all possible risks are either eliminated or otherwise dealt with by you and your family after comprehensively inspecting the home.

5. Talk to Your Employer

About one in four family caregivers in the US works while providing care for their loved one, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance [1]. Seventy percent of those employees say they have problems because of their dual role. If this describes you, you must take action to lessen the particular stressors connected to providing care while working:

  • Talk to your manager. Let them know you are responsible for providing family care, and be clear about what that will entail.
  • Ask for what you require. Do not hesitate to ask for a laptop, change your work schedule, or swap your tasks with your colleagues in exchange for something beneficial.
  • Maintain communication. While you are not obligated to provide your manager with personal information regarding your loved one’s health, you should communicate regularly enough to ensure that your requirements and your boss’s expectations are met. Good communication relieves stress and allows you to stay present.

6. Hire Help as Required

Despite your best efforts, you cannot be available at all times. Your loved one may also demand support that you are unable to supply. Outside assistance can provide a variety of services, including:

  • Nurse visits to home
  • Cleaning services
  • Temporary caregiving, such as adult day care or respite care
  • Meal delivery
  • Transportation to and from doctor’s visits

7. Keep Reliable Records

Simple yet crucial, you must devise a strategy for keeping accurate records on behalf of your loved one. It includes the following:

  • Bank Records: It is critical to keep track of your loved one’s finances to keep their care within budget and to protect them from elder scams.
  • Legal Documents: Find and keep essential paperwork such as their Social Security card, birth certificate, will, care directive, and tax records. Consider storing documents in a lockable, fire-proof document safe.
  • Medication Schedules: Consult with their primary care physician and record drug details. To avoid confusion, use a pill organizer.
  • Vital Statistic Measurements: If part of your care regimen includes monitoring a chronic health condition, you must keep accurate measurement records to communicate with healthcare specialists.

Donate Today to Support Caregivers!

Caregiving is a demanding task that often leaves the caregivers physically, emotionally, and financially unstable. The least we can do is to try to alleviate some of their burden by supporting them via donations.

November is National Family Caregivers Month! Let’s honor the dedication and sacrifices of the family caregivers who devote their lives and resources to caring for their loved ones! Don’t forget to support them, which you can do by acknowledging their hard work and donating as much as possible:


  1. Caregiver Statistics: Work and Caregiving. Family Caregiver Alliance. Accessed: 6th Nov, 2023.
  2. 10 Steps to Prepare to Become a Family Caregiver. Connected Caregiving. Published Online: 9th Sep, 2022. Accessed: 6th Nov, 2023.

November 2023: The National Family Caregivers Month.

National Family Caregivers Month

Every year, millions of Americans take on one of the most challenging tasks in the world: caring for friends and family members who suffer from physical and mental diseases. They assist with daily duties such as bathing, cooking, and shopping, interacting with medical specialists, managing medications, planning schedules, providing emotional support, and others. Caregivers frequently receive little sleep, are stressed, and have their own health issues—it can be tiring! Caregiving may be both a loving and a necessary profession at times.

Family caregivers and what do they do

Family caregivers care for and support family members who cannot care for themselves due to illness, injury, or disability. The care receiver may require some degree of support with everyday living tasks and other aspects of life due to a permanent or temporary situation, physical or developmental disability, or any combination of these conditions.

They may provide different types of support.

Personal Care

  • Personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, and toileting
  • Getting into and out of bed or a chair, as well as walking
  • Preparation of meals and feeding

Medical Care

  • Organizing and administering medicines
  • Coordinating and attending appointments and also keeping medical records and information
  • Managing treatments and therapies
  • Organizing nursing and other medical assistance

Other Life Management Activities

  • Buying food, clothing, and other necessities
  • Providing or arranging transportation
  • Managing finances, paying bills, and making long-term plans
  • Housekeeping and home upkeep
  • Managing Interactions with others

Some facts & figures about caregivers in 2023

  • Family, friends, and other unpaid caregivers provide 83% of the assistance given to older individuals in the United States.
  • Family caregivers and other unpaid caregivers provide nearly $340 billion worth of care.
  • Approximately 30% of caregivers are 65 or older.
  • Almost half of all caregivers (48%) who assist older persons do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

What is National Family Caregivers Month?

In the US, November is National Family Caregivers Month. It serves to draw attention to the nation’s over 50 million family caregivers and their challenging work. We raise awareness of the societal worth of caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month and ask for more support.

Even while we should celebrate family caregivers every single day, this is a moment to honor and commemorate caregivers on a national level, as well as to educate communities, raise awareness of caregiving-related concerns, and seek to strengthen the support system for caregivers across the country.

Why should family caregivers be acknowledged?

The value that family caregivers bring to society is immense. Their services frequently allow their loved ones to stay at home. It often covers a hole that would otherwise cost an enormous amount of money.

Caregiving can be time-consuming, repetitive, physically demanding, and emotionally draining. Many caregivers put their own health at risk to tend to their loved ones.

November is caregiver month, and family caregivers deserve recognition for the challenging and crucial work they undertake for their families.

Why does National Family Caregivers Month matter?

Caregivers need love!

Taking care of someone while working a second job can be exceptionally taxing. A significant portion of caring is unpaid. During National Family Caregivers Month in November, provide caregivers options for advocacy, self-care, and stress relief. Supporting caregivers while they take care of others is the focus of the month. The theme for this year is “Caring Around the Clock.”

Show appreciation to family caregivers this Family Caregivers Month!

Here are six things you can do to support and encourage a family caregiver during National Family Caregivers Month in 2023. During Family Caregiver Awareness Month, make an extra effort to make life a little easier for the family caregivers you know.

Check In Regularly

Allow them to share their stories without judging or providing advice. Tell them how much you appreciate the work they are doing for the family and the community. Remember that you are not required to solve their problems. A simple, judgment-free conversation space is frequently all the help people need.

Provide Respite Care

Taking a break from work, even if it’s only once a week, can be beneficial for caregivers. Spend time with the loved one they care for during the morning while they conduct errands or have some alone time. Your time is a priceless gift.

Be specific in your offers.

Avoid using phrases like “Let me know if you need anything.” Instead, make a particular offer of assistance. It can be difficult for caregivers to ask for help when they are overwhelmed, so the more specific you can be, the better.

Help with chores

Provide a meal, tidy the home, assist with laundry, tend to the yard, or take on any other household chores that are difficult for caregivers to complete. It relieves their burden and makes them feel encouraged.

Offer encouragement

You can express appreciation for their service by sending them a kind card, text, or even a modest gift. Express gratitude for their efforts and acknowledge the excellent work they are doing.

Keep inviting them

Continually sending invitations to events, even if you know the caregiver cannot go, will help them feel less alone and show them that you appreciate their presence. Additionally, you never know when they might succeed in making it happen!

Important for Caregivers!

Learn how to cope.

During National Family Caregivers Month, a wealth of important information is available to assist caregivers in managing their demanding and sometimes thankless work. As a caregiver, you should take care of your own health, accept assistance from others, develop excellent communication skills with doctors, and be receptive to new assistive technology that can ease your workload.

Assess yourself for depression.

It can be heartbreaking to witness someone change significantly as a result of disease or to watch a parent age. Spend some time keeping an eye on your health. Consult a specialist about depression if you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, exercising, or feeling more withdrawn. Anyone can suffer from it at any time. Feeling overwhelmed is not a sign of weakness.

Donate Today to Support Caregivers of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

Caregiving is a demanding task that often leaves the caregivers physically, emotionally, and financially unstable. The least we can do is to try to alleviate some of their burden by supporting them via donations.

Alzheimer’s Research Association is a non-profit organization committed to supporting caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients via helpful resources, tips, and financial grants. You can help us in this endeavor by donating here:


  1. National Family Caregivers Month November 2023. Unseen. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.
  2. National Family Caregivers Month – November 2023. National Today. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.
  3. Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s Association. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.
  4. November is National Family Caregivers Month. MHN. Published Online: 2nd Nov, 2023. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.