Getting support

Caregivers often try to do more than humanly possible in any given day. Caregiving can be tiring, and often caregivers report feelings of exhaustion. It may also be lonely and isolating, unless you have a strong support network. Seeking out support of friends, family and social groups is healthy and helps keep caregiving responsibilities in perspective. Let people close to you know how they can help.

Taking care of yourself

While providing care for another person, it’s imperative to focus on your own health and find ways to reduce stress. Regular exercise, yoga, and meditation are all wonderful coping techniques. In addition, they are good for you! Stress can cause medical problems and changes in behavior. Keep your diet in check and make sure to get plenty of rest. Your healthy lifestyle ensures that you’ll be a better caregiver.

The “business” of caregiving

Try to organize all legal and financial documents and put together with all important papers. Documents to establish your wishes for your care need to be in a safe place. Documents for the person you are providing care for are OpenHouse-0100-Smallespecially important, especially if time is of the essence. Look into and discuss ahead of time about Power of Attorney and Hospital Visitation Authorizations, since it’s best to be filed ahead of actually needing them. Complete your own documents to ensure your loved one will be cared for should something happen to you.

It is important for LGBT caregivers to be aware of the local laws and regulations where they live to ensure they and their loved ones are protected. Consider also LGBT affirmative care, since many LGBT older adults and their caregivers are averse to seeking LGBT positive resources out of fear of prejudice and discrimination. By accessing essential services, there is a chance of decreasing other medical and mental health services in crises.

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