5 Simple Ways Caregivers can Care for Themselves

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Self-Care for Caregivers: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health

By Ted Holmgren, 8:00 am on June 20, 2014

Being a caregiver is a full time job and its responsibilities and time commitments can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. While these may seem like inevitable side effects of caregiving, neglecting your personal health can lead to prolonged depression and health complications that threaten not only your physical and emotional health, but the level of care provided to your aging loved one. If you provide at-home care in Scottsdale, here are 5 simple ways in which you can monitor and improve your health.

  1. Maintain a healthy diet. Eating well may seem like the last of your priorities, however a healthy diet can give you the energy boost you need to keep up with your caregiving responsibilities. In addition to eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, it is important to limit your intake of salt and saturated fats. To help save time, prepare nutritious and healthy meals in large quantities and freeze them so you can quickly thaw, heat and eat your meal when you’re crunched for time.
  2. Don’t skimp on sleep. When your body does not get enough sleep, your immune response weakens. Lack of sleep can also increase your risk for illness, irritability, and forgetfulness. Caregivers should aim for 7-8 hours of rest each night, and should look into 24 hour care in Scottsdale if their aging loved one’s needs interfere with continuous sleep at night.
  3. Enjoy daily exercise. Along with helping you sleep better at night, exercising on a regular basis can help brighten your mood and lessen stress. Engage in exercise that you enjoy doing, some of which can even be done with your aging loved one. A simple walk around the block with your loved one is a great way to get your blood flowing, while promoting positive exercise habits for you both.
  4. Take time for yourself. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is an important component to staying healthy while caregiving. Just because you’ve taken on a new role does not mean you have to let your other roles fall by the wayside. Make time to continue enjoying your favorite pastimes and don’t neglect your friends and family. Staying socially engaged with the world around you can help you fight feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  5. Ask for help. Do not try to be a caregiver 24/7 as doing so will take a toll on your health and can lead to emotional problems including depression. Give yourself a much deserved break by allowing a family member to provide assistance. If you don’t know someone who is willing to help you, seek the services of reliable home caregiver. This way you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your loved one is in caring and professional hands in your absence.

These simple tips can go a long way in ensuring your health and the health of your aging loved one. To learn more about in-home care services for respite, contact Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale today. Along with hourly and live-in care, we also provide care for Scottsdale seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia Parkinson’s and stroke. Call 480-448-6215 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.