The National Family Caregivers Association estimates that there are more than 65 million Americans who are taking care of a partner, elderly parent or child. This can be a rewarding duty, but at times may seem like an overwhelming burden.
The Daily Herald recently interviewed Sonnie Yudell, the program manager for the Utah Caregiver Support Program, and talked to her about the best ways that a caregiver can help a care recipient without feeling too stressed.
Yudell says that one of the most important things is to accept help by saying yes to offers of support from friends and family.
"It is very common for caregivers to be very heroic," she told the news source.
"This is especially true if you're a spousal caregiver... I've seen it many times, and it is really detrimental."
If finding good help is a problem, experts suggest that skilled nursing care or adult daycare services can be valuable resources. They also allow a caregiver a much-needed reprieve from his or her duties.
Yudell emphasizes personal care as well - just because caregivers is tending to the needs of a loved one doesn't mean that personal health should be sacrificed. Be sure to eat well, exercise and maintain doctor's appointments.