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Caregiver Stress: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself

By Mayo Clinic Staff

When you hear the word "caregiver" you probably picture someone caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease. But a caregiver is anyone who provides help to another person in need, whether that's an ill spouse or partner, a disabled child, or an aging relative. Indeed, more than 65 million Americans provide care to a loved one.

If you're among them, you know that taking care of someone who needs your assistance can be very rewarding. But it can also exact a high toll, and caregiver stress is common. Caregiver stress is the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. Individuals who experience the most caregiver stress are the most vulnerable to a decline in their own health.

Many caregivers fall into the trap of believing that they have to do everything by themselves. Don't make that mistake. Take advantage of the many resources and tools available. Remember, if you don't take care of yourself you won't be able to care for anyone else. 

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