One of the challenges faced by those who have been called to care is taking good care of themselves. We understand why this can be difficult. You may feel that you do not have a right to tend to your own needs when your loved one is seriously ill or experiencing physical limitations—and then there are the other responsibilities that can place demands on your time, like a spouse, children or work. But to be an effective caregiver, you also need to take good care of yourself. If you neglect your own health, you run the risk of becoming ill and then not being able to care for your loved one. Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and one of the most often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. There is a reason why the flight attendants tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting someone else. When your needs are taken care of, then the person you are caring for will benefit too. In other words, the care you give to yourself is the care you give to your loved ones.
This toolkit was designed to help you manage caregiver stress and learn strategies to take better care of yourself by learning how to:
Caregiver Series: Challenges & Tips During the Pandemic
Sponsored by Johns Hopkins Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and Called to Care, this webinar series was developed to provide resources for caregivers during the pandemic. Below are links to the recording from each of the sessions held November 2020.
Combating Social Isolation and Use of Technology (60 mins)
Thomas Cudjoe M.D. - JHU, Assistant Professor of Medicine & Loretta Woodward Veney - Author
The pandemic has limited social connections for older adults including social and supportive gatherings. This session will address the impact of social isolation in older adults and strategies to integrate as a caregiver for your loved one as well as yourself to promote a positive well being. Use of technology in caregiving will also be discussed with tips on strategies and applications that may be useful.
Advance Care Planning-Making Your Wishes Known (30 mins)
John Kern -Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services & Theodora Peters– JHBMC Hopkins Elder Plus
Making your wishes known for your end of life care and what matters most to you is important. As we face today’s challenges in health care, it is vital that we have in place our documents for our Advance Care Planning for our loved ones and ourselves as the caregiver. This session will discuss Advance Care Planning and review the necessary steps that are required for completion in the state of Maryland.
How Caregivers Can Make the Most Out of Telemedicine (32 mins)
Mariah Robertson M.D. - JHU, Geriatric Medicine Fellow
The pandemic has challenged many in receiving health care via telemedicine due to lack of available technology and or skills in use. Many have visits with their primary care provider via the telephone. This session will address strategies for the caregiver to utilize to make the most of a telemedicine visit for their loved one.
Community Resources Directory
Community Resources 2023 (PDF) is an annual directory developed by the Baltimore County Department of Aging, Baltimore City Health Department, Division of Aging and Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities.
Other Educational Resources
Called to Care® Family Caregiving Guide
Download a booklet with details about the Called to Care® program and extensive information about family caregiving
Hopkinsmedicine.org Healthy Aging Hub
Select from a variety of health topics, including family caregiving, for information straight from Johns Hopkins experts