Psychologist stresses importance of caregivers taking care of themselves

Kevin Magna

March 3, 2011

There are approximately 20 million adults who are currently part of the Sandwich Generation, meaning that they are raising children while also looking after elderly parents, according to Suburban Journals. This can be an overwhelming responsibility and many are often tempted to put self-care on the back burner.

However, clinical psychologist Dr. Rosalind S. Dorlen states that this can be a bad strategy for caregivers.

"Taking care of yourself is not a matter of being self-indulgent or narcissistic," she told The Independent Press. "It enables you to avoid feeling resentful of those in your care, and have more enthusiasm about your task."

It can be hard to find free time to enjoy hobbies or activities. One way to supplement caregiving responsibilities is to install an elderly alert system. Seniors can use this device to instantly send a medical alert to caregivers in the case of an emergency, so individuals may be able to leave older adults alone for periods of time.

Dorlen states that headaches, insomnia or irritability can all be signs that one needs to take a break from their responsibilities and find a way to relax.