Caregiving sneaks up on you. One minute you’re just helping a parent, spouse, or grandparent — and who doesn’t do that? It’s our nature to help when we can. Women especially are prone to believe they must do everything that’s asked of them, but men also struggle with task overload.

The first time I heard the word “caregiver” was when a health care professional called me a “primary caregiver.” A what? Maybe that’s why I was totally stressed and near tears half the time! I was a caregiver, and my life was a mess.

How Do I Cope?

We must face the fact that none of us are Superman or Wonderwoman, and because people live longer and with greater disabilities, this isn’t the good old days when people died from ailments we’ve now learned to manage. Family members are busy, relationships may be strained to begin with, so everything often falls on one person’s shoulders — the primary caregiver.

Caregiver, you’re in a battle for not only your loved one, but for your own life as well. Don’t enter the fray without weapons and ammunition.

Find Help

The first step to find help is to realize you need help. Even if you could do it all, at what price to your own health and well-being? You matter too, and you can’t help others without arming yourself with what you need.

Troops to the rescue! My colleague and friend, Nancy Rhodes, Nurse Practitioner, has an amazing You tube Channel, Caregiver Success by Nancy the NP, in which she teaches everything from how to give hands-on care to discussions about life and all aspects of caregiving.

I was impressed with her video interview with Lauren Gelberg-Goff, author and social worker, who shares more than I ever could in a blog regarding the necessity about caregiver self-care—and better yet, how to find ways to meet your self-care needs. Her website, and information about her book, Take Back Your Life, is at

The interview with Nancy is at

I’m going to stop writing now and challenge you, Caregiver, to do this one thing for yourself and take the time to watch this video. It may add immeasurably to the quality of your life.