Nine tips to help family caregivers avoid depression

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America ( offers nine tips to help family caregivers avoid depression:

Ask family members and friends for support. Many may be eager to help but not know how. Be specific and let people know what you need.

Try relaxation exercises, such as meditation and yoga.

Do physical activities- mind and body are interconnected.

Take time for yourself. Even something simple like going for a walk can be relaxing.

Look into respite care, so you have time both for the things you need to do and that you want to do.  Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. It can be arranged for just an afternoon or for several days or weeks. Care can be provided at home, in a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center.  …

Try journaling, to express all your thoughts, both positive and negative. By writing about your feelings, you may also become more aware of the stress you feel.

Join a caregiver support group. You will be with other people who understand exactly what you are going through and can share emotions and support as well as practical advice and resources, in a safe and understanding environment.   …

Get a good night’s sleep- speak to your doctor if you are struggling with sleep problems.

Pay attention to nutrition. A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetable[s], and healthful fats, while low in processed foods, may help with symptoms of depression.

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