The Caring Corner - Blog

Finding Balance as a Family Caregiver

By Emma Dickison

“If you need anything, just let me know …”

“If you need anything, just let me know …”

If you’re a family caregiver, you’ve probably heard this offer countless times. Or maybe you’ve made this gesture yourself to a friend or colleague who’s caring for a loved one. It’s a common refrain from well-meaning people who want to help, but simply don’t know how.

The fact is nearly one-third of the U.S. population is caring for a chronically ill, disabled or aging loved one for an average of 20 hours a week! That level of responsibility, coupled with work, family, chores and social commitments, can quickly become an impossible juggling act that’s sure to exhaust even the most skilled multitasker.

As a caregiver for my grandmother and both my parents, I know it can be difficult to allow others to care for your loved one. You may feel guilty or ashamed that you can’t “handle” it yourself, or maybe you don’t trust others to provide the care your loved one deserves. But there comes a time when you must admit to yourself that accepting help may be the best thing for both you and your loved one.

Think about how your load could be lightened or visit our website for caregiver tips to keep you at your best. Make a list so you’re ready the next time help is offered:

  • Making meals that can be frozen and eaten at one’s convenience
  • Keeping the loved one company so the caregiver can enjoy some “me” time
  • Accompanying the loved one to doctor’s appointments so the caregiver doesn’t have to rearrange his/her schedule
  • Picking up prescriptions if one is going to be in the pharmacy’s area
  • Walking the dog or watering the plants
  • Doing a load of laundry and straightening up the house

Just a few hours of respite care a week can help to rejuvenate your spirits, allowing you to truly enjoy and cherish this time you have with your loved one. The memories you make today will live on forever – a rich tapestry of your family’s history.