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Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Caregivers

July 10, 2013

Dealing with a chronic illness may not only be tough for the patient, but also the caregiver.

Martha Jefferson Hospital Chaplain Suzanne Hilton Smith works with many patients and caregivers and she says it's common for caregivers to go without the care that they need.

They're often so focused on caring for their patient or loved one that they forget to take care of themselves. That could cause problems for them in the future.

"For some of us, that means doing everything they need. The problem with that over the long haul is our own energy our own ability to care for somebody becomes debilitated," said Suzanne Hilton Smith, Chaplain, Martha Jefferson Hospital.

If you're a caregiver, she recommends doing three things to stay healthy. She calls the list the "three T's" which stand for tending, talking and taking time.

She says you should do what you need to do to tend to your patient or loved one. She suggests finding someone to talk to that's been through the same situation. Smith also recommends taking time out for yourself to eat a healthy diet, exercise and sleep.

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