The Importance Of Self Care For Caregivers

My grandfather passed away this week from Alzheimer’s.  He was in a nursing home facility in New York for 8 years.  Every day my grandmother drove 30 minutes to the nursing home to feed him lunch that she cooked for him.  She also volunteered her time there, so much so that when my grandfather was transferred to a facility in Delaware the New York nursing home had a going away party for her.  My grandmother is one example of people all across the United States who care for sick family members, many of whom are cared for in the home by family 24 hours a day.  With a sick person taking all of their attention how do these caregivers take care of themselves?  Here are a few tips for caregivers:

  1. You deserve care too. In order to be able to fully care for another you need to be in the best health possible.  And you deserve to take the time to take care of yourself.  In caring for yourself you are in turn caring for your family member.  Not attending to your own needs increases stress, frustration and burnout.  This means time for yourself to decompress and relax.  Even time to do something fun once in awhile.
  2. Ask for help.  And then take it. Ask other family members for assistance, whether its financial or time helping out to give you a respite.  If someone offers to help you, take it!  You do not have to do it all alone.
  3. Find out the resources available to you. A simple google search will bring up adult day care and in home care assistance resources.  There is also a little known fabulous resource called the Maryland Community Services Locator.  Their website is www.mdcsl.org They are also on Facebook.  In addition, there are many resources listed on Anne Arundel County’s Department of Aging and Disabilities website at www.aacounty.org/Aging

Is someone you know a caregiver to a family member?  Take a few minutes to recognize the enormous responsibility that they have taken on and offer to help.  Even something as simple as running to the grocery store or a ride to a doctors appointment can make a tremendous difference.

Meaghan Massella, M.Ac, L.Ac is a licensed acupuncturist in Edgewater.  Edgewater Acupuncture is her mission to provide affordable acupuncture to the people of Anne Arundel county.  The clinic works on a sliding scale fee of $15-$35 for treatment, no questions asked.

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About the Author - Meaghan Massella Walker, M.Ac, L.Ac

Edgewater Acupuncture provides acupuncture treatments on a sliding scale of $15-$35 with a one time $10 paperwork fee for new patients. Acupuncture is for everyone. It’s most effective when received frequently and regularly. This is the reason behind Edgewater Acupuncture’s prices — accessible, simple, effective healthcare for you and your family. This accessibility allows you to come as often as necessary for you to get healthy and stay healthy. You decide what you pay. It’s that simple.

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