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6 Health Tips for Working Family Caregivers

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Family caregivers are often forced to take on too much between work, home, children and caring for their elderly loved one. This could lead to both mental and physical health problems. These are some tips for working family caregivers to help them better cope with the stresses of caregiving and potentially protect their health:

  1. Recognize the signs of stress. Are you a family caregiver snapping at your co-workers or others? Put a plan of action into place to improve what you can, and try to forget the rest. Try to incorporate time for yourself—take up a destressing hobby like yoga, running, or reading.
  2. Guard yourself from depression. Depression can sneak up on us and take hold, impacting multiple areas of your life at once. Family caregivers feeling overwhelmed and depressed should contact their Human Resources department or Employee Assistance Program to find what benefits might be available to them. Many insurance policies cover counselling. Schedule an appointment with a doctor.
  3. Take a vacation…or at least take a break. Treat yourself by stopping at a favourite coffee shop on the way to work, start watching a new show or movie, or take a walk outside. Just taking an hour or even a few moments to decompress could help many caregivers feel better.
  4. Learn better communication techniques. “If I had only done this” , or “I wish I’d said that”, is the lament of many working family caregivers. Effective communication can help family caregivers get what they need to stay healthy.
  5. Sleep, diet and exercise. If there were a magic potion for family caregivers, this could be it. Eating healthy, walking as much as possible (at least 30 minutes a day is recommended) and getting seven to eight hours of sleep may seem impossible, but it could make the difference between maintaining health and a downward spiral.
  6. Don’t do it all alone! Find out whether a company offers counselling, support groups and other help. Additionally, more companies have wellness programs nowadays. Family caregivers could try to connect with a group in their community or a faith organization. Even scheduling coffee once a week with a friend could help.

Learn more about what working family caregivers can do to help avoid potential pitfalls of stress on their health at!  


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