Nearly 1 in 5 US adults are caregivers. About 6 in 10 U.S. caregivers provide care for adults with a long-term health condition. 3% say caregiving has hurt their health and about 40% say it’s highly stressful. If you care for someone with COPD, you may juggle many roles:
- Medical coordinator
- Home health aide
- Personal assistant
- Family member
- Support system
Be on the lookout for signs of stress or depression:
- Always feeling tired
- Getting sick often
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling irritated, impatient, or forgetful.
Find healthy ways to manage stress:
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep
- Exercise at least 3 times a week
- Meditate 2 minutes a day
- Take care of yourself
- Schedule “me time”.
You don’t have to do it alone. In addition to the core medical team, be sure to build a care management team: Find a backup caregiver. Look for local senior support programs. If you can, get help with household duties such as meals, cleaning, laundry, and yard work.
The COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit simplifies the hardest parts of being a caregiver. Learn more: nhlbi.nih.gov/COPD-caregivers
Source: National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.