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Self-Care: What does it look like?

Once you set up a care team it is important to use your time away from hands-on caregiving doing some form of self-care. This will look different for everyone because what makes you feel refreshed is different from what works for me.

Also the amount of self-care a person needs varies from person to person. For some caregivers having five minutes of self-care a few times a day gets them through the next hour or two, while for others larger blocks of time are necessary to feel relief from the stress of their caregiving duties.

Self-Care in Your Home

Having a “Peaceful Place” in your home where you can escape to breathe is a great form of self-care. This space can be a bathroom, a walk-in closet or your front porch.  The location is not as important as what you put in it. Decorate this space with things that bring you happiness and peace.

  • Pictures or paintings of the ocean, or a favorite trip or family
  • A scent that reminds you of something happy
  • A journal to write down how your feeling
  • Music

Self-Care Outside Your Home

Support groups are a great source of self-care. Having a place to go where you can talk with other caregivers who understand your feelings and listen with a non-judgmental ear and offer words of encouragement.

  • Your local Area Agency on Aging will have a list of support groups in your area
  • Most disease-specific agencies have support groups (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, MS Associations)
  • AARP has lists of support groups in your local area.
  • On-line groups for those times when you need support but can’t leave your home.

Other Resources

Family Caregiver Alliance

Aging Care

Careliving Community

Lori Lemasters

Lori Lemasters

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