As a kinship caregiver, so much of your time and efforts are put into raising the children you are caring for. Often, relative caregivers forget that they need to also care for themselves.
Self-care is vital, in addition to your own health, to being the best parent for your child. There are many things that you can do to practice proper personal care. Most individuals had hobbies that they enjoyed doing before they became caregivers. You could try reconnecting with friends, getting back involved with a group that you previously participated, or taking a class in an interest area.
If you are married or in a relationship, another large part of personal care involves devoting time to be with your loved one. Date nights, for example, may become less frequent when a couple suddenly has a child come into their home. There is personal value in spending one-on-one time with your partner, and your positive relationship will be beneficial for the child. If getting away is difficult, some programs are available to help get kids involved in clubs, camps, and organizations. Ask your local organizations if programs exist in your area. Seniors should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to ask if respite services are available.
Support groups provide a place where kinship caregivers can meet and share their strategies for self-care. The KCRC keeps an updated list of all of the known support groups in Michigan. Visit our calendar to see if we know of a support group in your area.
Caregivers like yourself give so much when you take in a child. It is important to remember that a caregiver needs care too.