While some people receive care from paid professionals, more are relying on the unselfish assistance of families, friends, and neighbors. The stress, exhaustion and extreme emotions faced by caregivers can be overwhelming. Following are some hints for those facing this situation:

1. Physical

Place a high priority on taking care of yourself, as caregivers often neglect their own health. Keep all of your medical appointments. Learn to manage appointments and other obligations using an electronic or manual calendar.

2. Emotional

Schedule time for yourself. Even the most loving efforts to care for a family member can result in stress, frustration, anxiety, physical exhaustion, anger and depression. Don’t abandon the rest of your daily life, and don’t become a martyr. Ask for help.

3. Financial

Talk to independent financial experts. The financial burden on caregivers can range from temporary inconvenience to serious hardship. Experts will be able to evaluate the situation objectively and offer alternatives and advice.

4. Family

Many primary caregivers are also still raising children. Involve family members in caregiving, and lighten your workload by sharing responsibilities. Don’t underestimate children, as they can and will help.

5. Personal Life

Be sure to have one. Take advantage of respite services when you feel the need to recharge.