UC San Diego SearchMenu

Caregiver Tips

Things to think about as you begin your own caregiving process.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers a free Caregivers and Eldercare Support Group each month.

These tips are from former Caregivers and Eldercare Support Group attendees:

  • Organize important documents and information.
  • Set up a system to locate copies of documents that your family will need.
  • Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s illness or disability. Being informed may improve your effectiveness and increase your positive feelings about your efforts.
  • Set realistic goals about what and how much you can do for your loved one.
  • When help is offered, accept it along with any specific suggestions that you have not considered.
  • While caring for others, keep your life simple and free yourself of as many extra responsibilities as possible.
  • Caregiving is a marathon, not a sprint. It is important to pace yourself!
  • Recognize that caregiving is difficult. You may experience frustration, sadness, anger, impatience or just feel unhappy. When our ability to control outcomes is compromised, these emotions are common.
  • There is no crystal ball. Do your best with loving intentions.
  • Join a support group for caregivers. Allow yourself a chance to share your feelings and learn from others.
  • Find and use appropriate assistive technologies – a service or tool that helps you or the elderly/disabled perform typical activities. Assistive technologies include computers, mobility aids, telecommunication equipment, tools for independent living, etc. Amplified answering machines and telephones, medication management devices and fall detection systems are some examples of tools you may want for your loved one.
  • Remember your own care. See your doctor and dentist. Make sure you tell them you are a caregiver.
  • Make a commitment to staying healthy. Eat balanced meals to nurture your body. Exercise, stretch, walk and breathe deeply for endurance.
  • Maintain a routine to decrease your stress level.
  • Give yourself frequent praise and rewards for your patience.
  • Continue to find ways to include fun in your life. Having fun helps build resilience.