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Are you a caregiver?

Do you help an older adult with any of the following tasks?: preparing meals, bathing or getting dressed, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, managing medication, arranging for services, paying the household bills, getting in and out of bed, getting to doctors visits. If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are a caregiver. A caregiver is someone who assists another person - usually a family member - who has physical and/or mental limitations. Caregiving is a labor of love that allows a vulnerable person to stay in the home for as long as they can be cared for safely and comfortable. Although caregiving can be very rewarding, it can also be stressful. There may be times when you feel squeezed by the demands of giving care, balancing family obligations, working, and taking care of yourself. At times, you may not know where to go for answers, emotional support and practical advice - or how to get a break from your caregiving responsibilities. Some of these suggestions might help you: Talk with your doctor about how caregiving is impacting your health. He or she may be able to provide helpful suggestions. Allow others to help you. Ask family and friends for specific help and accept the help they offer. Learn to take care of yourself. You deserve some time to yourself to relax, socialize, and get some much-needed rest. You are not alone. There are many others like you. In fact, in more than 23 percent of households nationwide individuals are providing care for someone who is at least 50 years old. To see if there are services that might be available to you, contact Essex County Office for the Aging @ 518-873-3695 or 1-877-464-1637.

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