Nearly 70 million Americans provide some type of care for another family member, oftentimes an older one. If you’re one of them, you know caregiving can absolutely be personally rewarding, but it can also be stressful at times. Reduce your risk of sacrificing your own health by considering the following tips for better managing caregiver stress.

Don’t Ignore Your Own Health Needs

If your loved one is showing the slightest signs of not feeling well you probably jump into action right away. But if you ignore your own health needs by putting off doctor’s appointments or ignoring signs that something’s not right, you won’t be doing yourself or your loved one any favors. Be mindful of your own health by:

• Getting sufficient sleep
• Keeping up with doctor’s appointments and health screenings
• Reporting any unusual or lingering symptoms

Get Help from Others

You’ll be less likely to be overly stressed if you accept help from other family members or friends willing to lend a hand. Other options include professional care if you need help with mobility and transfers, errands, or routine housekeeping chores for your loved one.

Find Ways to Take Breaks

You deserve and need to take breaks for yourself. Even having half an hour or so to yourself each day to go for a walk or just sit and relax can be beneficial. If you have concerns about taking longer breaks, consider respite care. What this does is allow your loved one to receive professional care while you take time to recharge.

Caregiver stress can also be less of an issue if you explore your options with home-based care services, like what’s offered by BlueDot Cares. Having access to this type of assistance can make it much easier to manage stress and focus more on the positive aspects of caring for a loved one.