Between 40 and 50 per cent of people with schizophrenia live with their families. While the demands of being a caregiver will be great, it is also important for caregivers to remember to take care of themselves. As a caregiver your health and happiness are important, without them neither you nor your affected family member will be able to heal and thrive. Try to remember the following tips:
- Aim to keep your family life as routine as possible. Keep seeing friends and participating in activities, when possible.
- Make time for yourself! Take care of your own needs - emotional, physical and social. Take the time to do the things you like to do and participate in activities with your friends. If you burn out, neither you nor your family member will heal and thrive.
- Talk to family and friends and let them take on some of the responsibility for caregiving. Speaking routinely about schizophrenia and mental health issues will prevent you from feeling isolated and will allow you to make new connections in the community. While having a family member diagnosed with schizophrenia may feel like a lot of responsibility, you are not alone.
- Get involved in family support groups.