Caring for parents? Don't forget to care for yourself

It's happening more and more: children become the primary care-givers for their parents. This love and devotion is wonderful, but it can really take a toll on the caregiver's physical and emotional health.

Penelope Buschman with Columbia University School of Nursing says it's important for the caregiver to take care of him or herself.

"Find assistance, take a little bit of time out to exercise, to see friends, to schedule some time away."

You shouldn't feel guilty about this. If you do Buschman says you need to deal with those feelings.
"The only way to continue to be able to provide care and to have the strength and energy to do that is to replenish one's own resources."

She recommends joining a support group to deal with that guilt as well as the isolation and loneliness caregivers often experience.

"It has a psychological benefit, a social benefit and many times a spiritual benefit."

Many of the organizations that deal with chronic and advanced illnesses have care giver support groups

For more information

AARP: 'Caregivers, Youre Not Alone

Take Care of You: Self-Care for Family Caregivers