Make a New Year's Resolution to be a Healthier Caregiver in 2016

Make a New Year's Resolution to be a Healthier Caregiver in 2016

  • December 24, 2015

The role of family caregiver is one of the most stressful jobs there is. It can also be a thankless one. You may be helping a senior who doesn’t really accept the idea that they need assistance. Or your siblings may be highly critical of the job you are doing as a reaction to the guilt they feel for not helping.
 
The mental, physical and emotional toll caregiving takes is significant. Caregivers often end up experiencing a health crisis of their own.
 
Caring for the Indiana Caregiver in 2016
To help you start the new year out right, we have pulled together a few suggestions:
  1. Ask for and accept help.  Family caregivers often feel that it is their responsibility to care for their senior loved one alone.  Accepting help, even if it is just for a few hours a week, will help you be a better caregiver in the long run.
  2. Schedule a physical. If you are like many caregivers, you have been neglecting your own medical appointments and routine wellness screenings.  Make a resolution early in 2016 to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.  During this appointment, talk with the physician about what screenings and tests you have neglected, as well as any caregiving issues you may be dealing with that are putting your health at risk.
  3. Healing therapies.  Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi all provide the physical benefits of exercise, in addition to teaching good breathing techniques. All three forms of exercise can help you decrease stress and improve your mood.  And each of these can be practiced in the privacy of your own home. Always a plus for busy Indiana caregivers!
  4. Regular exercise. Try to make it a priority to exercise 30 minutes a day whenever possible.  The good news is that those 30 minutes don’t have to be all at once.  Break it down into two, 15-minute sessions. You might also want to include the Indiana senior you are caring for in your exercise time whenever it is safe to do so.
  5. Improve your nutrition. Don’t let your own nutrition suffer while you care for others.  Try to make an extra effort in 2016 to eat a well-balanced diet. You will be more likely to succeed if you get everyone in the family to join you in making changes. If you need some help with healthy recipes and nutrition advice, there are a variety sites ranging from Choose My Plate to Health through Heritage.
  6. Plan “me” time. Set aside time for yourself on a routine basis. This will help you to be the most positive and well-balanced caregiver you can be.  Take a few minutes each day to do something that makes you happy – reading, walking, meditating or enjoying a phone call with a friend.
If these suggestions seem impossible given your personal situation, respite care might be an option to consider. These services can range from a few hours of in-home care to a short stay in an Indiana assisted living community.  By taking time to care for yourself, you can be a happy and healthy caregiver for your aging loved one.
 

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