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How to Get the Support You Need as a Caregiver

By November 16, 2022April 6th, 2023Health & Wellness
A young man cares for an older woman

Being a caregiver can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs. Every day is different, and many caregivers are not formally trained, making their job even more difficult. It’s important to prioritize your own personal needs when your job is to care for someone else. If you’re not in good health — physically and mentally — it will only be more difficult to care for others.

Supporting Yourself

Practicing mindfulness can have many benefits for caregivers. This can include meditation, journaling, or exercising. These practices can help you feel calmer in the moment, and may even help you better deal with daily frustrations over time and prevent burnout.

It’s important to express your feelings and needs to those around you as a caregiver. Open communication between a caregiver and the person they care for is important for them to build a trusting relationship. Letting your friends and family know how you’re feeling can help them support you.

When that’s not enough, talking with a mental health professional or joining a support group may be the help you need. Reach out to your primary care provider first for the best path for treatment of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Young Caregivers

There is a growing number of young caregivers who need support. Many people use their 20s and 30s to learn how to be independent and experience more freedom than they’ve had previously as children. Losing this experience can be difficult to process and accept mentally.

Asking for help from professionals when you’re able is a good idea for most caregivers, but even more so for young people who may have busier schedules and less resources than other caregivers. Respite care can give young caregivers the free time they need to attend school, work, and socialize.

Give Support

If you’re reading this as someone who knows a caregiver, understanding the caregiving role is the first step to offering empathy and support. Offer to listen to caregivers when they feel the need to talk. Once you understand what goes into a caregiver’s everyday routine, you can offer to help them with errands, continue to provide emotional support, and check on them regularly to make sure they’re caring for themselves.

Balance is often the key to effective caregiving. If everyone cares for themselves enough, there will be more care to give to others.

AmeriHealth Team

The AmeriHealth Team is here to provide well-being tips and health insurance education to help you be your healthiest.