Care for the Caregiver—The Practical Side

Parents of special needs children, adult children caring for their parents, grandparents raising their grandchildren…when I think of caregivers, so many different types of people and roles come to mind.  Caregivers come in so many forms. Those who choose to care for others with special needs are some of the kindest, most giving and most selfless people on the planet. Caregivers have these and many other amazing qualities in common. They also have unique needs and challenges in common, too.

I am hopeful that the blogs on this topic will shed some light on this beautiful caregiving community that supports and loves others and deserves the same love and support in return.

I would like to suggest that many if not most caregivers do not choose to become caregivers. They do not choose to have a baby with Down Syndrome. They do not choose to marry someone who will become terminally ill. They do not choose for their children to be emotionally and/or physically unavailable so that they become parents a second time—grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Many caregivers find themselves in roles they never planned for. And yet, they stay. They stay because they are kind and want to help. A sidenote is that those who stay often go through a period of grieving for what they thought their lives would look like in their current season. They are forced to simultaneously grapple with grieving what they thought life would look like, while learning to accept and navigate what life is.

If you are a caregiver, or you know one who is, here are some tips for preventing caregiver burnout:

  1. Find a caregiver support group or take a workshop on caregiving
  2. Stay healthy by eating right and exercising
  3. Talk to a therapist/counselor for support
  4. Ask for help with tasks if you are overwhelmed (be realistic about your limits!)
  5. Make time for yourself daily

If you are caring for someone else and feeling overly stressed or depressed, we can help. Our seasoned mental health therapists can provide the support and expertise you need to help you learn how to manage your stress and promote feelings of calm and hope in everyday life. We also provide telehealth appointments if leaving your environment is difficult. If you are in need, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment. 


Yolanda Brailey