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5 Tips that Can Help Family Caregivers Remain Healthy

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

1. Eat Right

Diet is a key factor in maintaining good health and overall wellbeing, not only for your loved one but for you as well. Caregivers may get into the habit of managing the stress they sometimes experience by turning to high-calorie comfort foods or sugary snacks. However, you’ll be much more refreshed, focused, and capable of handling the demands of caregiving if you make healthy eating choices, stay hydrated, and opt for a balanced diet.

2. Make “Me Time” Mandatory

When you’re a family caregiver, taking time for yourself can seem like a luxury. The reality is taking some time for yourself to relax and unwind is necessary if you want to remain physically and mentally capable of caring for your loved one. Set aside some time each day to relax and recharge, which could involve:

• Going for short walks
• Reading or watching a favorite TV program
• Taking a quiet bath
• Calming yourself with relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and mindful meditation

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. Rhode Island 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.

3. Recruit Help

In a National Family Caregivers Association survey, more than 60 percent of caregivers questioned reported not receiving consistent assistance from other family members. The first step in getting the help you sometimes need is to actively ask for it. It’s perfectly natural to need some help now and then as you tackle all the caregiving tasks on your to-do list. If someone asks if he or she can help, don’t be afraid to accept the offer.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

4. Stay Active

It’s surprisingly easy to fit regular exercise into a family caregiving routine. Even just 30 minutes of walking, elliptical machine use, or low-impact aerobics several days a week can be enough to help you stay healthy. Regular activity can also positively affect your mood and give you a natural energy boost, and certain activities, such as yoga, can address both mind and body needs.

5. Remain Connected

Bonding with your loved one is one of the many rewards of being a family caregiver, but it’s still important to remain connected with the world outside your role as a caregiver. You may think this isn’t possible because of the extent of your caregiving duties. However, there are plenty of ways to remain connected to friends and other important people in your life. For instance, you might:

• Catch up with friends via email, phone, video chat, and text
• Plan weekly lunches or walks at convenient locations
• Arrange for in-home care on certain days so you can do things with friends or your immediate family

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Rhode Island Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (401) 284-0979.