Caring for the Carer: How to Look After Yourself

If you’ve ever cared for a loved one who is going through an illness or old age, you know very well how hard it can be on both your physical and mental health.

With so much invested in looking after your loved one, it seems like there is simply no time for looking after yourself and chasing your own goals – it’s just the kind of stuff that will have to wait for later.


Yet, you’re not going to be able to provide the same kind of care as you could have unless you treat yourself to some love and attention as well. Here is a handful of ways to ensure that you’re able to look after yourself as well so that you can enjoy the time you have together a bit more.

First: Ask for help

Sure, it can be difficult to ask for help in these situations but it’s also vital that you understand when you need a rest or some support. Otherwise, it’s going to be impossible to get everything done that you would have liked to do – and you run the risk of feeling resentful towards the one you’re caring for even though you know, in your heart, that it’s not their fault.

The only solution to this difficult problem is to ask someone for help when you need it. This could mean that you ask your other family members for more support than they are currently providing – or simply that you find professional care for cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients or an in-home carer that is suited for your loved one’s needs.

While you may not want to send your parent or your loved one off to a care home, you can still get professional support at home. Just have a look around the web and find something in your area – it will definitely help you out a lot.

Next: Remember to stay active

Both your loved one and you will benefit a lot from regular exercise. Besides from making you feel like you’re spending some time on yourself as well in the middle of all of this, it’s going to be great for your loved one’s mind as well.

Exercise is, as we know, about more than just having a healthy and able body. A lot of exercises are suited for elderly or those with less able bodies as well, though, and you can both enjoy the feeling of being a bit active together.

Have you considered horseback riding for your loved one, for example? He or she will be able to get out in nature, connect with the animal, and use their body with its support.

Enjoy these activities together and your energy levels will feel fuller, your mood will be better, and you will definitely notice a difference in the one you are caring for as well.

Another point to this is, of course, to make sure that you are eating right and looking after your own health. Without this, it’s going to be difficult to not feel drained and physically tired at the end of the day – set up a meal planner, for example, to get this out of the way as soon as possible.

This is a collaborative post.


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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