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Caring for the Caregiver

If you’re the child or family member of a loved one who is growing older, you know how stressful caring for them can be. Many caregivers aren’t very old themselves, but have found themselves burdened with the task of caring either part-time or full-time for an aging loved one. While helping those you love is never viewed as a burden, it can create unneeded stress in your own life if you aren’t careful to focus on your own needs. Below are some tips for caregivers to help alleviate stress:

1). Get support from others. Caregiver support groups exist to help relieve stress and give caregivers an outlet with others. Find others who are in the same situation as you are and plan monthly or bi-monthly times to simply talk with them.

2). Take time to exercise. While focused on the health of your loved one, you can often forget to take care of your own health. Take time to get outside for a 30 minute walk, get to a gym, or stay physically active each day.

3). Meditate. Meditation is often used to block outside influences and focus on inner peace. Taking time to meditate in a quiet room will help relieve stress and focus your mind and body on overall wellness. As the saying goes, take time for a breather.

4). Spend time alone. Don’t get so wrapped up in caring for others that you don’t care for yourself. Being “on call” 24 hours a day can wear you down. Take time to be alone. Read a book, listen to some music, go for a drive, partake in a hobby, or do something else you love.

5). Continue regular check-ups. Just as important as it is for your loved one to receive medical check-ups, so you need regular medical visits to your doctor. Regularly stop in with your doctor and have him check your health.

6). Indulge yourself. Caring for others means making personal sacrifices each day. Every so often, take time to indulge yourself. Buy a new outfit, go out for ice cream, or indulge yourself in something you enjoy but wouldn’t normally do. Take a vacation, spend time with friends, go out to eat, pamper yourself at a day spa, or find another way to relax.

7). Consider local care. If caring for your loved one becomes too overwhelming, consider local care facilities or in-home help. Don’t feel that you have to take on the care of your loved on all by yourself. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Caring for a loved one can be tiring and can wear on you—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Rather than floundering under the burden of being a caregiver, take time to focus on yourself and care for your own needs. The last thing you need is to become ill yourself, and ending up with two people who need care – yourself and the one you are caring for. If you do take the time to recharge yourself, you will also find that you are a better caregiver!

About Thompson Von Tungeln

Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson Von Tungeln (TVT) offers sophisticated estate planning and administration for the affluent, discriminating client. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve these clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand. For more information, contact TVT at (661) 426-2499 or visit their website at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com.

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