A day in the life of a family caregiver…. For anyone who is or has been a family caregiver you know that it can be exhausting, stressful and challenging while at the same rewarding. One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver is take time to care for yourself. For family caregivers who are trying to manage jobs, households, medical appointments, multiple schedules, paying bills, and what feels like a million other tasks the idea of taking time for yourself seems all but impossible. The biggest question is “WHEN”, when is there time and what does taking care of yourself even look like? For some it is such a foreign idea that even if you do for some miraculous reason have the time then what would you do with it. The answer is as individual as the people you care for, it is anything that works for you. It doesn’t have to be a 2 week vacation on a tropical island (although I am sure that sounds like a great idea for most), maybe it is a nap because you are sleep deprived or maybe it is lunch at the local deli by yourself because you don’t remember the last time you sat down to eat a meal. Whatever it is take the time to do it because your loved ones need you to take care of yourself.
If you are not connected to a caregiver support network National Caregivers Month is a great time to see what is out there. Join us in celebrating all those that support a loved one with a disability or other caregiving needs and check out some of the resources for family caregivers at the National Alliance for Caregiving. https://www.caregiving.org/caregiversmonth/
Teresa Anderson, Policy Director, The Arc & UCP Collaboration