10 ways to take charge
While it can be rewarding, being a family or friend caregiver can be emotionally and physically demanding. You can do things every day to feel more prepared, confident and less stressed.
- Join a support group of caregivers—make friends, pick up tips—and keep in touch with family members and friends. You won’t feel so lonely.
- Don’t do it alone. Ask for help. Look for ways to involve others.
- Take care of your health. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and see your doctor.
- Keep a journal. It can be good therapy and a way to keep your notes and information handy.
- Anticipate crises and have plans ready.
- Keep learning through doctors, reading, a support group and so forth.
- Reward yourself, even if it’s only a long walk. Make time each week to do something you want to do, such as going to a movie.
- Find local programs that may help: transportation, meals, home healthcare services, respite care.
- Set priorities, make lists and follow a daily routine. Say “no” to taking on more.
- Feel empowered! Increase what you know and understand. Educate yourself to make good decisions. Believe in yourself and your ability to make changes.