Get Support If You Are a Caregiver

The Basics
The emotional and physical stress of caregiving can cause health problems.

Take Action!
Set aside time each day to do something you enjoy.

Start Today: Small Steps

The Basics

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When you're taking care of a loved one, make time to care for yourself, too. The emotional and physical stress of caregiving can cause health problems.

What is a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who helps a family member, friend, or neighbor who is sick or has a disability. An informal or family caregiver often helps a loved one with basic daily tasks.

You may be a caregiver if you regularly help someone with:

About 1 in 4 Americans are caregivers. Most caregivers also have other jobs and spend an average of 24 hours a week caring for a loved one.

The stress of caregiving can lead to health problems.

When you're caring for a loved one, it can be hard to take care of your own health. Caregivers are more at risk for colds and the flu. They're also more likely to have long-term health problems – like arthritis, diabetes, or depression.

Here are some signs you may have caregiver stress:

Find out more about caregiver stress. External Links Disclaimer Logo

The good news is that you can lower your risk for health problems if you take care of yourself and get support.

Take Action!

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Take these steps to lower the stress of caregiving.

Take care of yourself.

Caregiving can be stressful. Stress can lead to problems like back pain and trouble sleeping. Taking care of yourself will give you the energy and strength to handle the demands of caregiving.

Take care of your body.

Take care of your mental health.

It can also help to hear from other people who are caring for a loved one – their experiences may be similar to yours. Check out these stories from other caregivers. External Links Disclaimer Logo

Ask for help.

You don’t need to do it all yourself. Ask family members, friends, and neighbors to share caregiving tasks.

It’s also a good idea to find out about professional and volunteer services that can help: 

If you're taking care of someone with Alzheimer's disease:

It's also a good idea to learn about preparing for future health care needs. External Links Disclaimer Logo

And if you're feeling overwhelmed, talk with a doctor about depression.

Start Today: Small Steps

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