Getting practical support is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself as a caregiver. Other people can help you in many ways. They can:
give your loved one care, so that you get time off from caregiving (respite);
help you with non-caregiving tasks, so that you have more time for yourself;
provide information, things you need, or other kinds of assistance, so that you’re less stressed out.
Of all the help that’s available, getting respite – breaks from caregiving – may be the best way to avoid burnout. You can get respite by having other people take care of your loved one at home for a while. Or, your loved one may be able to go to hospital or hospice for a few days, instead.
Why is practical support so important?
You need time and energy for self-care.
Your loved one needs breaks from you.
Other people need to show you and your loved one that they care, too.
Getting help keeps you connected with others.
For ideas about specific ways that other people can help you, see the section Understanding Roles and Responsibilities. For tips on how to get the support you need, see the section Asking Others for Help. For more details about support that’s available in your community, see the section Support and Resources.