Prior to COVID-19, there were already 7.8 million caregivers in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2018), many of them adults themselves in their 60s and 70s, caring for older parents aged 85 and older. The strain on family caregivers has increased with the impact of the pandemic, whether that’s lending a hand to an aging spouse, parent, relative or friend. For every family caregiver—veteran or newcomer—it can often feel difficult to balance personal obligations such as work and caring for children, in addition to daily caregiving responsibilities. The challenges of tending to a loved one can place significant stress on the one overseeing care. Gradually, this stress can build up and lead to caregiver distress—a situation where an individual may become more susceptible to other health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke.
It’s very common to see caregivers placing the needs of their loved ones before their own. But caregivers, just can’t pour from an empty cup. By taking time to tend to your own needs and acknowledge the challenges you might be facing, you can create an environment that is healthy and rewarding for every person involved.While caring for an older adult can be a meaningful and fulfilling experience, the daily duties of caregiving can still prompt isolation and self-neglect.
5 Tips to Keep Self-Care Top of Mind for Family Caregivers
Practicing self-care is not selfish. We are all living in uncertain times and adjusting to the new normal. By making time for yourself, you can ensure you’re able to provide the best care for your loved one for years to come. And, most importantly, don’t forget that the care you’re providing is making a significant impact on your loved one.
For more resources to help manage stress or identify the things that might make caregiving more challenging for you, visit