Fatigue in Caregivers
Fatigue is frequent among family members and others caring for someone with cancer.
Caregivers may feel guilty thinking about themselves when someone close to them has so many pressing needs. However, it's important to maintain one's own health and well-being to provide the best possible care to a loved one.
Here are some tips for doing that.
- Carve out some time for yourself-a few hours or a day off where you can do whatever you want.
- Eat good, balanced meals and get enough rest. If you start to experience fatigue, especially if it seems excessive, see your own healthcare provider. You could have a medical condition that is causing fatigue.
- Get some exercise every day. Try exercising with your patient.
- Ask for help from friends or family. Suggest specific tasks (e.g., grocery shopping).
- Know what community resources you can tap into for help, such as for transportation needs and home healthcare services.
- Educate yourself about your loved one's illness. Knowledge is empowering.
- Watch for warning signs in yourself, such as impatience, loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping. Those red flags signal time to take a break.
Remember that you are making a difference.