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Knowing Your Needs

When an older person needs assistance, it can include every aspect of his or her life. Caregiving can involve dealing with the elder's emotions and emotional needs, finances, physical limitations, mobility problems, medical conditions, dietary restrictions, personal care needs, housing adaptations, and spiritual needs. No wonder many caregivers find it difficult to know exactly what is needed and how best to meet those needs. In addition, you have your own needs and wants that also deserve your attention.

While giving care to an elder, you also may be worried about your own health; how to balance caregiving and work; your relationship with your spouse, children, and other family members; the financial consequences of caregiving; and the rollercoaster ride of emotions that most caregivers experience. You may feel squeezed by the many demands you face and may be unable to find time to relax, socialize, and pursue your own interests.

The following chart can help you. Periodically, use this chart to identify your needs as well as those of the senior you are helping.




Part of the Senior Service Network Supported by the D.C. Office on Aging