Woman helping senior walk down the stairs.

Self-Care Tips for Senior Caregivers

Being a caregiver to a loved one can take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Although the role can be fulfilling, it can also be overwhelming and seem never-ending. Taking care of yourself is important and sometimes can get overlooked as a caregiver.

Caregivers need to look after their own health needs and make them a priority. It’s important to maintain regular doctor visits and pay attention to signs that may indicate stress and exhaustion. Don’t ignore symptoms that could be signaling it’s time for some help.

If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing caregiver stress, look for these signs in yourself or in a caregiver you know. 

  • Is the caregiver in denial about the person’s disease? 

  • Do they brush off the diagnosis, making it seem less severe than it really is? 

  • Are they frustrated or angry with the loved one? 

  • Is the caregiver withdrawing from social activities they used to enjoy? 

  • Are they anxious, exhausted, depressed or irritable? 

  • Do they have trouble sleeping or concentrating?

  • Is the caregiver starting to have health problems?

Caregivers should become educated about the disease progression of the person in their care as well as about caregiving skills. Many hospitals and organizations have workshops to better understand a disease and support groups to build coping skills and exchange feelings with other caregivers. 

“Don’t isolate yourself and go it alone,” says Audrey Grove, Director of Masonicare Community Services and a caregiver support group facilitator.  “There are adult day care programs, as well as in-home healthcare and assistance available. Meal delivery services and pet therapy visitors can also help lighten your load. There are even online support communities that can be tremendously helpful.”

As a caregiver, the most important thing you can do is take time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty. You must get away from time to time to recharge your batteries. There are respite care providers that will let you take a break for a bit, and you may be surprised to find neighbors and friends who will fill in if asked. Although you might be tempted to run errands, this time is not meant for you to do more caregiver duties. It is time you need to do something you enjoy, like go to lunch with a friend or go to a movie. 

At Masonicare we have many options to help support caregivers. 

We offer: 

  • Regularly scheduled caregiver and family support groups

  • Adult Day Programs

  • Masonicare at Home, which provides in home-care services

  • Expert staff to answer questions and guide you along the way

Please free to call the Masonicare HelpLine today at 888-679-9997.