Caregivers often feel they have little time to attend to their own needs. This is especially true in caring for loved ones with a serious or life-threatening illness.
It is critical that you care for your own physical health and well-being. Equally critical is that you connect with family and friends who can support you. Ignoring your needs can lead to health problems of your own, physical and mental exhaustion, and isolation. This added stress makes it even harder for you to care for your loved one at this important time for both of you.
We provide a number of suggestions and resources to help you. Consider those that fit the needs of you and your family. You may have additional responsibilities beyond providing care for your loved one so we offer information on many types of support available to you in the community.
How Are You Doing?
To begin, take the brief self-assessment (questionnaire in English and Spanish) that was developed by the American Medical Association and used here with their permission. The tool will help you examine some of the common stress associated with care giving and how they may affect you.
Find useful resources and coping techniques in this excerpt from The Caregiver Resource Directory.
Our thanks to Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City for their support of this project and permission to use material from their publication, The Caregiver Resource Directory: A practical Guide for Family Caregivers, 2nd edition. Learn more about their palliative care program.