Have you noticed that your health seems to be going downhill since you became a family caregiver?
If so, you’re not alone. Caregivers frequently have a decline in health because of the stress and time commitment involved in taking care of someone with a serious and chronic condition. It can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. However, there are ways you can protect your health as a caregiver, which can also make you more efficient at the job.
#1: Schedule Time for Yourself
Instead of squeezing in “me time” whenever you get a minute because the older adult is sleeping or in a medical appointment, schedule time for yourself. If you hope to just fit it in, you may not find time for yourself at all. Instead, you might find yourself filling the downtime with things like scheduling appointments, reading about the senior’s condition, or organizing medicines. So, schedule a couple blocks of time each week just for yourself. Use them to spend time with people who make you happy, do favorite activities, or even just relax with a book or a nap.
Exercise has a multitude of health benefits, including improving emotional health by relieving stress. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise each day. One way to do this is to involve the older adult if they are able. Go for a walk with them or take a yoga class together. If the senior cannot exercise with you, ask someone to sit with them while you go to the gym, take a jog, or go for a walk.
#3: Eat Healthy Meals
It can be easy for caregivers to grab quick meals, like a burger from a nearby fast food place or microwaveable frozen meals. However, these kinds of foods are typically loaded with excess calories, fat, and salt. Do your best to make healthy meals for yourself using whole ingredients instead of processed foods. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. One way to do this is to eat with the older adult. This way, you’ll save time and ensure you’re both eating well.
#4: Stay Connected with Others
Lots of caregivers find that their responsibilities consume their lives, leaving them little or no time to spend with friends or other family members. As a result, they lose the important connections that can offer them the support they need to get through a difficult time. If you’re having trouble finding time to spend with people other than the older adult, consider hiring home care to spend time with them while you go out for lunch with a friend or go on a date with your spouse or significant other.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Marietta, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
Administrator of 3 Florida (Always Care) Home Health Agencies for over Fourteen years.
Always Care of Georgia since 2001
Served as a 1st Lt. In the US Army