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Published on July 15, 2013

Care for Philadelphia caregivers

Support for caregivers and how to avoid burnout.

careA close friend or family member was just diagnosed with cancer. Understandably, many of us would feel the urge to drop everything and care for them.

Many people battling cancer are cared for by loved ones. That’s in addition to the estimated 60 percent of older Americans who are cared for primarily by family members. A majority of those family caregivers are baby boomers—those in their 40s, 50s and 60s—and are also pursuing careers, raising children and maintaining a home.

The combination of demanding priorities can be emotionally and physically draining, so it’s not surprising that many caregivers report feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Wellness Tips for Caregivers

  • Recognize that your task is enormous. You want to provide the best care for your loved one, but you also must take care of yourself. Take a half-hour break every day and use the time for yourself: Get a manicure, treat yourself to a massage, go for a walk or a jog—anything that is special you only time.
  • Accept that you may have feelings of anger and resentment. These are normal, but don’t keep them bottled up inside. Whether it’s a friend or professional counseling, talk with someone you can confide in and trust.
  • Ask for help. You can’t do it all alone. Perhaps another family member can help, even if only for a day or two a month. Ask a healthcare professional about community resources that could provide relief, such as adult day care programs, which Mercy provides for those who are eligible.
  • Stay social. Don’t give up the things you like to do—dinner with friends, a walk in the park with a neighbor. You need time away from the responsibilities of family caregiving.
  • Join a caregivers’ support group. It helps to know others understand how you feel.

Here To Help. Call 1.888.690.2551 or visit to find out how Mercy Home Health can assist you with at-home care.

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