Catholic Healthcare Services
Did you know during any given year, more than 44 million Americans (21% of the adult population) provide unpaid care to a senior or a person with a disability 18 years or older? Informal caregivers provide 80% of the long term care in the United State and most caregivers are women who are middle aged. Although, about 13% of all caregivers are over the age of 65. (According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health)
Some caregivers experience the physical and emotional strain of being a caregiver. It is often called “caregiver stress.” Caregivers may experience feelings of being overwhelmed, sleeping too much or too little, weight gain or loss, loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy or feeling tired all of the time. It is important for all caregivers recognize the signs of Caregiver Stress and get the help that they need.
Here are 10 tips for Caregivers:
- Take care of your health. Eat right, drink enough fluids, stay active and get enough sleep. See your doctor for a checkup.
- Say “no” to request that can drain your energy.
- Don’t feel guilty that you are not the “perfect caregiver.” There is no such thing. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
- Set goals that are realistic. Make a list. Break tasks down into more manageable steps.
- Establish daily routines to save time and energy.
- Stay in touch with family and friends.
- Try to maintain a sense of humor. Laugh out loud.
- Take time to do something special “for you” every week. Take a walk, go to a movie or see a friend.
- Ask for and accept help from friends, family and organizations. Did you know that community organizations provide respite care at home or in a facility? Also support groups can help you by sharing with others caregivers.
To find out about resources for help at home , Contact the Diocese of Camden
VITALity Resource and Referral Help Line at