to accompany and give back hope

Parish Nursing Bulletin



Caregivers Also Need Care

Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of our society. They devote themselves, usually 24 hours a day, to the care of their dependents (frail elderly relatives, the chronically ill, young children), and often their contribution goes unnoticed. They are living the "servant" role modeled by Christ.

This role can be very rewarding, but also extremely demanding. Family caregivers often feel selfish even thinking about taking time for themselves, but this is both a right and a necessity. Even Jesus got tired and spent time alone with God to renew Himself. If you find yourself often feeling tired, depressed, guilty, anxious, lonely, frustrated or angry, you may be heading for burnout. The following suggestions (from U. C. Observer) may help prevent your own health from breaking down:

Eat nutritious meals; get adequate rest and exercise.
Take time to relax (cup of tea, hot bath, book) each day.
Keep in touch with friends, family, church.
Focus on what's important to you; get rid of non-priorities.
Accept the reality of your situation; you can't wish it away.
Take one day at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.
Recognize that you are doing your best.
Accept your feelings, even the negative ones.
Don't try to do everything yourself. Let others help.
Talk with others in similar situations. Support each other.
Use respite services available in the community to give yourself a break.
If you're dealing with a chronic illness, learn as much about it as you can and
educate family & friends so they can help.
Don't promise a loved one that you will never put him/her into a long-term care facility. You can't foresee future circumstances.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry