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Caring for yourself

Caring for a family member can be an emotional roller coaster. Caring demonstrates love and commitment and can be a very rewarding personal experience.  However exhaustion, worry, inadequate resources and continuous care demands can be very stressful.  These can take a toll on your mental, emotional and physical health, particularly if you are a younger or older carer yourself and are juggling other roles such as  studying or parenting.  But despite these risks you are less likely than a non-carer to look after your own health.  You cannot stop the impact of an illness on someone you care for, but you can look after yourself.

First, Care for Yourself

On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit too.  

I’m a family carer, how can I look after myself?