Caregiver’s New Year’s Resolutions

The new year is a great time to establish new goals. Use our caregiver’s list to pick two or three resolutions that will help you become a happier, healthier caregiver. Some of these are quick and easy; others are year-round objectives. While you’re at it, share our second list (below right) with your friends and family — it’s a gentle way to encourage their help and support.


  • 1. Delegate. Prepare a list of caregiving activities you could use help with. When someone offers to help, refer to the list. Better yet, determine who might help you with each task and then ask for the help. See the list at right for more ideas.
  • 2. Create a Family CareGroup. Organize all those that help you into a community circle using our free service that lets everyone pitch in with meals, rides, and other caregiving tasks.
  • 3. Get enough rest. Find ways to ensure that you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. What daily activities can you cut out or delegate to make more time for rest? Can you hire someone or get help from friends?
  • 4. Make and keep preventive care appointments. You can’t take good care of your loved one if you aren’t feeling well yourself. Be sure to keep important doctor’s appointments like mammograms and prostate screenings.
  • 5. Be kind to yourself. Shake off any self-criticism or guilt that you aren’t doing all you could be doing. Remind yourself daily that you’re doing the best you can for your loved one and your family.
  • 6. Take 5, 10, 15, or more. Commit to doing at least one thing you enjoy or need every day. This might mean meditating, reading a spiritual passage, walking, listening to music, or sewing — whatever restores your spirit.
  • 7. Learn about local resources. Most caregivers don’t take full advantage of the support available nearby. Start by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging, Medicare or Medicaid office,, a local chapter of a national disease-specific organization, or the nearest senior center.
  • 8. Get papers organized. Make sure your loved one’s important papers are in order now. Discuss how he’d like to receive medical treatment and then document his wishes using an advance care directive. Work with your loved one to establish a healthcare proxy, providing copies to all healthcare providers.
  • 9. Plan for your own long term care. Establish at least a rough idea of how you’ll pay for your own long term care. Consider all your options, including reverse mortgages, long term care insurance, and personal savings.
  • 10. Give thanks. If a friend or family member spent time with your loved one during the holidays or helped you with any of your responsibilities, be sure to send a quick note expressing your thanks. It’ll encourage more help in the year ahead.

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These days, caregiving affects just about everyone. Share this valuable resource with your family and friends.



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