As baby boomers age you might find yourself taking care of an older parent or family member. Caring for someone is a big responsibility and involves a time commitment.  Do you put the other family member first?  Do you feel guilty if you put yourself first, resentment and frustration when you neglect yourself? Are you neglecting your family, your health, your social life because you are too busy focusing on the needs of another?  If the answer is yes, you may have created an imbalance in your own life. This article addresses you the caregiver and the needs that are often sidelined in our own lives when we focus on the needs of another.

Food is a basic need and should be an enjoyable experience. Proper nutrition ensures that we are able to face each day with the fuel needed to carry out our tasks. You may find yourself skipping meals, no longer preparing food for you and your family, eating unbalanced meals, or too busy to really enjoy your meal.

You may find you are working on a timeline that differs from your normal schedule. Perhaps you are getting up early, staying up late, stopping after work to provide assistance or changing your plans.  You may feel tired all the time or stay awake at night thinking how you get it all done.  Proper rest is essential to your health.

If you find you have no time or energy to keep your own appointments, get together with friends, spend time with your family, maintain your home, or simply relax, you may be taking on too much responsibility.

It is important to realize that it is OK to ask for help, hire out for services, and enlist the help of others. You do not have to shoulder the entire responsibility for caring for another person. There are many elderly programs and agencies that can assist with transportation, meals, medication administration, medical and psychological concerns. But of utmost importance, take good care of yourself each and every day!