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Supporting Family Caregivers

Believe Us, You Are Not Alone

Despite its rewards, serving as a senior’s primary caregiver can be demanding and stressful. Many others are in the same situation. In a 2007 Ipsos-Reid survey, one in three Canadians age 45 to 60 reported being caregivers to aging family members. Family and friends provide an estimated 80 percent of senior care.

There are many resources available to you. In the interest of your overall health — and that of your family and the person you are caring for — don’t approach caregiving responsibilities as if you are alone.

Respite Care: Relief for the Family

No matter how much you love the person you are caring for, you need regular breaks from caregiving. Nonstop caregiving will zap your energy and take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health.

If you will not do it for yourself, please consider that respite care also benefits the person you are caring for. After a break, you will return with your battery recharged. You will be refreshed and more effective.

A respite could be just a day away with friends, an afternoon of personal errands, or an exercise break. Or it could be a vacation, away from it all.

You can find relief from numerous sources:

Before planning respite care, be sure to talk with your loved one about it, explaining the up side for everyone. To help your loved one accept the idea, be sure to involve him or her in making the arrangements.

Respite care helps the primary caregiver keep her life in balance and ends up benefiting the caregiver, the loved one she’s caring for and her family.

How to Care for Yourself and Prevent Caregiver Burnout

Besides scheduling regular respites, Comfort Keepers recommends that you practice the following to relieve stress and maintain optimal health:

How a Support Group Can Help You

Community Support Groups…

Internet Support Groups…

Caregiver Support and Advice on the Web

You will find a wealth of online resources to provide caregiving support and advice. Here are a few examples:

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