- Get respite. Take a break of at least a week at least once a year. You can hire help in the house or arrange for a respite stay at an assisted living facility or nursing home.
- Get regular exercise. It’s necessary for your health and to moderate any stress you may be feeling. If you can’t get out of the house to exercise, buy or rent a stationary bicycle or other exercise equipment.
- Eat well. Make sure you stay healthy and have sufficient energy to do what you need to for your loved one.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep will sap your patience and reserves, making it more difficult for you to provide the care you would like to give your loved one.
- Join a support group. While you may or may not be in this alone, you’re not the only one in this situation. Others are going through similar experiences.
- Hire a geriatric care manager. An experienced geriatric care manager can help you determine whether your loved one is receiving the most appropriate care and what resources in the community are available to assist you.
Therefore, make sure that you consult an elder law attorney and have a plan in place to pay for long-term care expenses. In addition, make sure that your attorney prepares any and all documentation that may be needed, such as a will, trust, power of attorney, health care proxy and living will. And then, make sure that you take care of yourself. Think of the care-giving as a marathon, not a sprint. Caregivers must pace themselves and conserve their energy for the long-term. Too much stress and exhaustion won’t help you or your loved one.