Just read an interesting statistic: Most Americans will be caregivers at some point in their lives, outside of typical parenting. Whether it's caring for a parent, a disabled child or sick spouse, nearly 44 million Americans are considered informal caregivers in any given year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health. Most caregivers are middle-aged, and most are women. (The Daily Gazette, June 30, 2013, page B1)
The same article has a link to the Family Caregiver Stress Relief website where there is a link to a caregiver stress test and links to resources to find some help. Although most of the resources are targeted toward helping seniors (parents), some of the information is also useful for being a caregiver to others.
Last month the NNPDF posted 12 ways to "Care for the Caregiver", especially targeted toward those caring for sick children:
Day 1 - Take Care of Yourself Physically
Day 2 - Don't Overload Your Daily "To Do" List - Be Realistic
Day 3 - Give Yourself Permission to Have a Good Cry
Day 4 - Getting Adequate Rest
Day 5 - Seeking Professional Help if Needed
Day 6 - Take a Break Every Day
Day 7 - Explore Community Resources and Connect Yourself to Them
Day 8 - Learn relaxation techniques to help alleviate stress!
Day 9 - Give yourself a special treat at least once a month!
Day 10 - Regularly attend (or connect on-line) with support groups and/or education workshops.
Day 11 - Know Your Limitations
Day 12 - Give Yourself Credit for All the Good You Do
Please take a minute and think about yourself. If you aren't taking care of yourself, you can't take care of them.