Dear Caregivers,

By turning to this resource page, you have taken a small, but important, action step furthering your well-being and the well-being of your loved ones. Small steps count. At the end of your long day, and your many small steps, please know that you, and your choice to care, matter.

One small step you could take on your journey of self- care is to recall some of the things that you have enjoyed doing or favorite memories. Though you may not be able to do that fun thing you remember, according to new research on the brain and happiness, even thinking about happy memories, or something that we enjoy doing, can give us a boost.

Here are some recommended on-line resources for you.

The Four Stages of Caregiving is a gentle, helpful guide with supportive articles addressing each stage.

The comprehensive manual How to be a Resilient Caregiver,  is searchable for specific challenges. Here is an excerpt that I wish everyone could read:

So, how do caregivers balance their own needs with those of the person who depends on them? How do they manage day-to-day caregiving responsibilities in addition to the pressures of family, work and other obligations?
Here are a few tips from resilient caregivers:
• Give yourself unceasing credit for your efforts. Whether you are providing care for someone out of love or obligation, you are improving the person’s safety and well-being.
• Set realistic expectations for yourself. Ask for
assistance from family members, friends, health
care professionals, and community agencies that serve dependent individuals.
• Seek support from family members, friends, counselors, spiritual advisers or other caregivers with whom you can share your woes, joys, problems and successes.
• Make a commitment to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being by replenishing your energy with relaxation, recreation and time for yourself.
• Connect with the person in your care by creating a peaceful space to reminisce, share experiences and be comforted.

There is much more in this PDF manual: How to be a Resilient Caregiver.  It covers the entire caregiving life-cycle. It is a great resource for the general challenges, and specific issues, that you are facing.

The following article packs a lot of information: Steps for Self-Care. Though I found it a valuable resource, I would suggest that you read it when you have some energy for tackling things.

For friends and families of caregivers, information about how to support is here: The Caregiver Space

And here is another important resource site for caregivers, and a political action organization for family caregivers.
CAN: a national association for caregivers

There is more support available in your local community with Aging and Disability community centers. And your library may offer listings of community resources, and also have books about care-giving, including long-distance care-giving. And more information is  available on-line about caregiving,  specific health issues,  and more about the challenges that you and your loved one are facing.

Please know that, as you care for yourself while caring for another, there are many people thinking about how to grapple with this challenging combination; you are not alone. May these resources be of service to you, as you daily express your love-in-action.

All best wishes, Debbie