A caregiver is a person who provides care and assistance to someone who is frail, disabled or ill and needs help. Many spouses, children, friends and relatives are caregivers. Being a caregiver can be a short term commitment or it can last for years. Caregiving is not easy and it requires love, patience and compassion. It includes caring for a person's physical, social and psychological needs.
Caregivers perform many different kinds of tasks. For example, helping someone to eat, take a bath or dress, giving medications, assisting with doctor’s appointments, preparing meals, providing rides, grocery shopping and housekeeping. The assistance from a caregiver may allow a person who requires care to stay in their own home longer.
One of the most important things a caregiver can do is to take care of themselves. When a caregiver’s needs are taken care of, the person who is being cared for will benefit too.
Taking Care of Yourself
Here are some of the ways caregivers can take care of themselves.
• Eat well and exercise regularly.
• Get as much sleep as possible.
• Watch for symptoms of depression and talk with your doctor.
• Maintain or establish social contacts.
• Find time to do something you enjoy.
• Not be afraid to ask friends and relatives to help occasionally.
• Pace yourself. Don’t get exhausted.
• Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition.
• Give yourself credit. Don’t feel guilty.
If you are a caregiver of a Funds beneficiary and have questions about their health benefits or caregiver issues, please call the Funds Call Center at 800-291-1425, option 2, or for more information on caregiving check the following websites: