A high amount of stress, depression, and other health disorders can result from being a caregiver for an elderly family member, particularly when you don't have access to helpful resources and information. Here are some tips for making sure you take care of yourself if you're in a caregiving position:
1) Visit adult day care centers, nurses, and other services that might be able to give you a reprieve when you need it, from caregiving.
2) Ask for help from family and friends when you need it.
3) Make sure you maintain a balanced diet and get lots of exercise; also put in a sufficient amount of time for activities you enjoy.
4) Understand the patient's expectations, and keep educating yourself on his/her health problems.
5) Talk to a therapist if you find yourself continuously experiencing feelings of stress or depression.
Great tips, Nirmala. A great resource for caregivers of elderly family members is your local county Office on Aging. The staff can advise you about low cost or no cost programs available in your area.
Your local hospital, HMO or health clinic may have educational programs about various health conditions. By understanding your loved one's illness, you can work with the doctor to provide the very best care.
Keep up church or spiritual activities. These can be a great source of comfort and support during very trying times.