Caring for the Caregiver

Even when caregiving is borne out of love for the elder, the work can be relentless, grueling, and isolating. These debilitating side effects make it all the more important to take time to care for yourself. In fact, many current caregivers say that they wish they had thought to prepare for eldercare before there was a crisis by learning caregiving skills or looking at ways to combine work with caregiving.

This chapter offers a variety of suggestions about why you need care as a caregiver and how to find it. In some cases, seeking solace and information through caregiver support groups or other caregiver resources may suffice. At other times, you may need to call on a qualified respite service and take a break. After focusing so closely on your elder's care, making your own needs the priority could create some discomfort or guilt. Try not to let that stop you from replenishing your reserves. Your elder depends on it... and on you.

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