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Coping While Caregiving

A big part of being a good caregiver to a patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is taking care of yourself—both mentally and physically. If you are run down or upset, you may have a hard time providing care. Keep in touch with your doctor about your health. Make sure you are up to taking care of someone else.

Caring for a patient with IPF can also be tough. It is especially hard if the patient is a loved one. It is normal to feel like you are not doing enough and are not up to the task. You may feel depressed, angry, or unable to sleep or eat well. These may be clues that caregiving is becoming too stressful.

Here are some tips to help you cope:

  • Give yourself a break and hire a sitter or aide to take care of the patient
  • Have a friend or family member help with chores, such as shopping or cleaning
  • Find caregiver support groups in your area

If you do not feel you can provide adequate care, talk with the patient and other family members. In some cases, a nursing home or assisted living home may be an option. You may be able to get financial assistance for respite care. Your social worker can help you find resources.

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