Caring for Yourself

Caring for someone with a chronic, unpredictable illness can be both deeply rewarding and physically and emotionally challenging at the same time. Care partners – meaning the caregiver and the care recipient – often forge a special bond when they face the challenges of HE together. But caregiving, with its many responsibilities and complex demands, can also be overwhelming leading to feelings of frustration, depression and anger.

Many caregivers think they could, or should, handle everything themselves and begin ignoring their own health and well-being in the process. But this is one of the biggest mistakes you as a caregiver can make. Neglecting your own needs will backfire in the long run. Successful caregivers don’t let their loved one’s illness always take center stage. They take steps to maintain their own physical and mental health, as well as their social connections outside the home. Finding ways to take breaks, rest, stay healthy, and maintain a personal and social support system is vital for both you and your loved one as you face the challenges of living with HE together.