Tips for caregivers from Dr. Richard Besser

Remake America

Caring for a loved one with a long-term illness or medical condition can be taxing. It's Kyle's challenge in Episode 6 of Remake America. (Kyle's daughter has a rare genetic disorder that prevents her from doing almost anything herself.)

Caretakers like Kyle can lose sight of their own needs. ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser offers some tips to help caregivers give better care:

  • Take care of yourself first to maximize efficiency and resources. Dr. Besser makes an analogy between caregiving and airplane safety: Put on your oxygen mask first, then help someone else.
  • Embrace help. There's no shame in it, because it reduces stress and anxiety in both directions. The recipient benefits and the caregiver can feel good about it too.
  • Research support groups. For practically every illness or circumstance, there's a coalition of individuals or nonprofit groups that have been there too. Search online to find free professional resources.

For more tips, follow Dr. Besser on Twitter at @DrBesser.