As a family caregiver, it’s important to be focused on your senior loved one’s health and wellbeing. While it’s certainly understandable to instinctively put your loved one’s needs first, this doesn’t mean you should ignore what’s good for your own physical and mental health. Ultimately, the healthier you are, the more likely it is you’ll be able to provide the type of care that’s best for your loved one. Here are five tips to help you stay healthy as a caregiver.
1. Eat, Sleep, and Exercise
Eating right and staying hydrated helps you maintain the energy you need to provide sufficient care for your loved one. Regular exercise combined with sufficient sleep can enhance your mood, relieve stress, maintain your strength, boost your immune system, and keep you mentally alert and attentive.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Austin families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.
2. See Your Own Doctor on a Regular Basis
Yes, it’s important to make sure your loved one gets to his or her various health-related appointments, but don’t forget your own medical care in the process. It’s just as important for you to take the following proactive steps related to your health:
• Going to regular doctor’s appointments or checkups
• Managing any chronic conditions you might have
• Getting recommended screenings and vaccinations
• Seeking care for any new or unusual discomfort
3. Maintain Your Own Social Circle
Being a family caregiver gives you plenty of opportunities to connect with your loved one. However, it’s just as essential to have your own emotional support system with friends your own age and your significant other and/or children. Schedule time to socialize with your friends and other family members on a regular basis. Several different studies suggest positive social interaction can contribute to:
• Reduced stress and anxiety
• Enhanced self-esteem
• Better physical health
4. Learn to Prioritize
Realize you’re doing the best you can do as a caregiver and accept the fact that you can’t do everything all the time. Endlessly adding to your to-do list will only result in added stress and other not-so-good things that can take a toll on your health over time.
Instead, understand it’s alright to say “no” to requests that aren’t absolutely critical to your loved one’s wellbeing. You’ll be better off health-wise if you prioritize and focus on the aspects of your loved one’s care that are most important at the moment.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care, Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.
5. Ask for, Accept, and Seek Help
Whether someone offers to prepare a few meals for your loved one, do the weekly grocery shopping, or take care of your loved one’s yard, accept sincerely offered help and enjoy the relief that comes from having fewer things on your plate. You’ll also be in a better position to pay more attention to your own health needs if you take advantage of other potential sources of help, some of which could include:
• Senior transportation services
• Daily freshly prepared meal delivery
• Weekly, biweekly, or monthly housekeeping service
• Support groups specifically for caregivers
• In-home care services
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Austin elderly care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To schedule a no-obligation and find out how we can help you prevent burnout and promote healthy lifestyle options for your loved one, call (512) 623-7800 today.