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Family Caregivers Need Care, Too

November is Family Caregivers Month.

A growing number of Americans are taking roles as caregivers for loved ones suffering with a variety of illnesses and disabilities. At least 60 million have a caregiving role – most caregivers are middle-aged adults.

Caregivers can be anyone doing a broad range of tasks for loved ones who are unable to perform everyday duties like picking up groceries, getting dressed in the morning, or driving to medical appointments. These caregivers are often unpaid and untrained.

By giving so much for others, it is easy to neglect self-care and caregivers often suffer burnout that leads to higher rates of mental illness like depression and anxiety. Exhaustion and fatigue can lead to more serious health issues. Recent studies show 40-70 percent of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety due to chronic stress associated with providing care

Some self-care strategies can include:

  • Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep (7-8 hours) is always important
  • Make a self-care calendar and share that plan with someone else
  • Don’t base your identity on your care for others. Caring is acting, not being
  • Be mindful: Recognize how an activity reenergizes you and fully participate in it
  • Keep a victory journal
  • For more tips, view:  http://www.fox19.com/video/2018/11/16/national-caregivers-month/

The Lindner Center of HOPE has some of the nation’s leading physicians experienced in depression treatment and self-care. If caregivers are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, they can schedule an evaluation at the Lindner Center of HOPE Rapid Access Service, which is an outpatient service for patients 18 and older, open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 12:30 pm to 4 pm. This service enables patients in need to have a scheduled appointment, within days of the call. The appointment includes a thorough outpatient assessment with a psychiatrist and social worker, a care plan, recommendations with referrals and a written after-visit summary. Call 513-536-0639 to schedule.