It is important that everyone who cares for someone on a daily basis takes a break from providing care. Sometimes caregivers put their welfare last, feel they do not deserve a break or believe they are responsible for providing care to the person at all times.

It may be appropriate to involve other family members or friends who are willing to help you take a break from providing care.

The break can also be done with the participation of the cared for person in the day centres, other times it is necessary to resort to care provided by professionals, or for a longer period, to resort to a residential structure.

You can also access the long-term care network and check the conditions of access to the caregiver's rest.

If you have any concerns about access to the network and the caregiver's rest please contact your health centre team.

In this list, you will find some suggestions on how you can better take care of yourself:

  • Find time during the day for a moment of leisure, even if it is an hour or less, and take the opportunity to do something you like (read the newspaper, take a relaxing bath, learn a new language, exercise, take a walk or go shopping);
  • Take regular breaks. Take a day off once a month. Ask a family member/friend for help or access home care if possible to take care of your loved one during that time;
  • Call a friend or family member regularly. Keep in touch with the people who are important to you;
  • Exercise regularly. You don't need to devote much of your time, 30 minutes is enough. If you have internet, you can look for a video with exercises you like and practice in your own home without having to travel;
  • Try to have a balanced diet;
  • Whenever you do not feel well (mentally or physically), you should seek the support of your family doctor;
  • Create a support network. Contact other caregivers who are experiencing similar difficulties and participate in group or individual therapies. These kinds of meetings will help you to better deal with negative emotions, anxiety, depression or feelings of guilt.


Caregiver's rest

The National Network of Integrated Continued Care (RNCCI) provides for the hospitalization of the Long Term Care Unit (ULDM) and the Residential Units of Moderate Support (RAMo) and Maximum Support (RAMa) types of integrated continued mental health care, the possibility of providing the hospitalization of the person being cared for, due to difficulty in family support or the need for rest of the main caregiver, up to a limit of 90 days per year (ULDM) and 45 days per year (RAMo and RAMa).

How do I access the caregiver's rest?

In order to access the caregiver's rest within the RNCCI, contact any Primary Health Care professional – Health Centres Grouping (ACES) or Health Centre (CS) in the area of residence.

Through this signage, a reference proposal will be prepared and sent for validation to the Local Coordinating Team (ECL) of the ACES area of influence.

The caregiver and the person being cared for must be involved throughout this process.