Learn Why Self-Care Is Important for People Helping Older Adults


People can put so much time and effort into helping others that they hurt themselves.


Some might think it’s selfish to take a break. But people who take care of themselves can better help others.


People who take care of themselves while helping older adults:

  • Feel less stress about helping

  • Are less likely to get sick or develop health problems

  • Are able to help for a longer amount of time

  • Are able to help in more difficult situations

Any activity that someone enjoys and that helps them to relax can be part of their self-care.


Self-care doesn’t need to take much time or effort. Short self-care activities can fit into busy daily schedules.


Self-care could include:

  • Treats for the senses, like listening to favorite music, taking a warm bath, breathing in fresh air or walking barefoot

  • Pleasant breaks, like watching a movie, driving around, listening to a podcast or sitting quietly in a comfortable space

  • Mental or artistic activities, like reading, doing a crossword puzzle, writing in a journal, coloring or taking pictures

  • Special treats, like getting a massage, going to a nice restaurant or visiting a favorite place

  • Physical activities, like jogging, doing yoga, gardening, going for a walk, bicycling or swimming

  • Social connections, like calling a friend, getting coffee with others or going to a support group meeting

  • Religious, spiritual or mindful practices, like praying, meditating, focusing on the breath or listing the positive things that happened that day

  • Celebrating small things, like enjoying a sunny day, spending time with a pet or wearing favorite clothes

Self-care also includes healthy habits, like eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, setting healthy limits, exercising and making regular healthcare appointments.