Tips for Caring for a Loved One Long Term

man resting on sofa

It’s simple: If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t care for your loved one. So it’s crucial that you maintain optimal health.

Enhance your endurance and mood.

  • Learn everything you can about stroke. Knowledge is empowering.
  • Set boundaries; say no when it’s appropriate.
  • Don’t dwell on what you can’t change.
  • Limit caffeine.
  • Get adequate rest.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Find a support system.
  • Share your feelings with someone who wants to listen.
  • Focus on things you’re grateful for each day.
  • Invest in your spiritual life.

Overcome stress and depression.

Physical and psychological stress is an inevitable part of caregiving. How you manage it impacts your well-being. To combat stress:

  • Set your priorities.
  • Maintain a routine.
  • Don’t try to do it all.

Depression is also common during the caregiving journey, especially if you feel hopeless and helpless.

  • Allow yourself to grieve the losses related to stroke.
  • Accept — and get help for — the new responsibilities thrust upon you.
  • Remember, you’re angry with the situation, not your loved one.

In short, first take care of you… before you take care of your loved one.