Essential Self Care Tips for Family Caregivers

Essential Self Care Tips for Family Caregivers

Did you know that there is a day each year dedicated to self-care? This year, International Self-Care day takes place on July 24, 2016 and the theme is ‘Get better with Self-Care’.

If you’ve been on an airplane, you can recall the safety instructions given before takeoff. Flight attendants demonstrate how to use the oxygen masks, how they should be deployed, and the rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. It becomes very hard, if not impossible, to help others if we neglect to help ourselves first. Caring for yourself is arguably one of the most important (but unfortunately one of the most often forgotten) things you can do as a caregiver. It can feel challenging to make self-care a priority, but when you do, the person you care for, will benefit too.

Essential Self care

In order to assess how well you are doing at taking care of yourself, answer the following questions:

  • Are you getting the recommended 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night?
  • Are you eating healthy foods that help to elevate your energy level?
  • Do you get at least some exercise each week?
  • Are you able to see friends and enjoy social plans on a regular basis?
  • Have you dedicated time to furthering your own hobbies or interests?

iCare Home Health recognizes the importance of self-care for caregivers and is pleased to provide so many different types of services such as nurse at home, attendant care and companion care services that build a system of support for family caregivers. Our list of essential self-care tips for caregivers will give you some ideas on how to make sure you are caring for yourself too.

Tips for Self-Care

  1. Put yourself in the schedule: Find a time of day where it is realistic for you to build in time for yourself – maybe you can get up a bit earlier or dedicate Sunday afternoons to be the time that you spend on yourself. Add it in the calendar and treat it like an appointment that cannot be cancelled, just like the appointments you keep for those you are caring for.
  2. Accept help when offered or Ask for help: How many times have you answered “Oh thanks, but I’m fine” when someone has offered to help? Take the time to make a list of ways that people can help so you can be ready to take people up on their offers! Home health care or nurse at home services are other great resources that can support and provide the caregiver with a much needed break.
  3. Schedule your own medical visits: If you are caring for another person, chances are you have been to the doctor recently.  But when is the last time you booked an appointment for yourself? Your physician can help you manage stress and make referrals if needed and be sure that you are in good health to continue caring for someone else.

To manage your own self-care, you need to build in time to focus on yourself. iCare Home Health’s nurse at home caregiver services provide qualified, professional skilled nurses and licensed therapists to care for your loved one in their home, giving you time to care for yourself. Contact us to find out more about our home health care services offered in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Mississauga and to get a free assessment of your needs.


President of iCare Home Health Services, a community based, boutique home health care company dedicated to serving the needs of our customers to maintain their quality of life and dignity while they recover from illness or age at the comfort of their own home.