Caregivers dedicate their time, energy and love caring for others. However, their health is just as important, and often goes neglected as they focus on those in their care. November is National Family Caregivers Month and we’d like to share tips and resources for caregivers to ensure their own health and wellness needs are being met!
See the Doctor
It is important that you take note of any symptoms you have as they may lead to other health issues. Monitoring your sleep, changes in appetite or behavior should be taken seriously and reported to your doctor. It is also important to be up to date on all vaccinations in order to keep yourself and those you are caring for healthy.
Staying active is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Even if it is only for 30 minutes, any time spent working out is beneficial for your health. Starting off small and setting goals is the first way to start. Walking, hiking, dancing, and swimming are great forms of exercise.
What you put into your body impacts your health drastically. Check out the following resources for nutrition tips:
- Nutrition: Tips for Improving Your Health (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Eat Right Nutrition Tips (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
- Healthy Breakfast: Quick, Flexible Options to Grab at Home (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Tips to Help You Cope:
Manage your stress
Stress can actually cause physical problems such as blurred vision or high blood pressure and behavioral problems such as irritability and lack of concentration. These are important symptoms to be aware of and to discuss with a doctor.
Be realistic and know you are doing your best
Caregivers often feel guilty that they cannot do more to help. But, every patient is different and has unique needs. It is important to always remember, the care you give does make a difference. Focus on good memories and on positive energy.
Take a break
It is important you do not overwork yourself. Taking time for yourself is crucial. Look into respite care if you need some time for yourself.
Accept changes as they occur
Patient’s needs change constantly. They may require care beyond what you are capable of. Familiarize yourself with community resources and care options for home services and residential care.
Local Resources for Caregivers
For more information and support, please check out these programs and resources for caregivers.
This content is brought to you by the Alzheimer’s Association.