Caring for an aging loved one can take a toll on both your physical and mental health, and you need to take steps to keep yourself strong and healthy while maintaining a positive attitude. Here are some strategies to help you stay healthy while you manage the challenges of caregiving.
1. Eat Well
Maintaining proper nutrition is one of the most important things you can do to remain healthy while fulfilling your responsibility as a caregiver. Eating well prevents you from becoming deficient in vitamins and minerals and keeps your immune system strong. Consuming a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, seafood, grains, and lean sources of protein promotes a healthy cardiovascular system, strong joints, and optimal brain function.
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. Colorado Springs 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. Get Enough Sun Exposure
Sun exposure helps the body make vitamin D. This essential nutrient keeps bones strong, boosts immunity, and reduces the risk of depression. Family caregivers face challenges that can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Spending time outdoors in the sun and consuming vitamin D–rich foods can keep you healthy so both you and your loved one enjoy your time together more.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Teeth
Neglecting your oral health can have serious consequences for your general state of health. Gum disease may raise your risk of systemic infections and increase your risk of heart valve problems, and it can also trigger systemic inflammation, which is thought to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and cleanings can keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent you from getting sick.
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 Social
Making time to visit with family and friends can prevent caregiver burnout, a condition that can lead to severe mental health problems and medical issues, such as high blood pressure, chest pain, and diabetes. Ask a close friend or family member if he or she can spare some time to sit with your loved one so you can enjoy some social events. If nobody can help you, consider respite care. A respite caregiver can stay with your loved one for a few hours, days, or weeks, and respite care can be provided in your loved one’s home.
5. Get Preventative Healthcare
Preventative healthcare means seeing your physician for regular exams and routine diagnostic tests. During your office visits, your doctor will talk to you about ways to prevent certain illnesses and may recommend maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, not smoking, and limiting your intake of alcohol. Regular checkups can also help your doctor identify and treat health problems before they become serious.
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 Colorado Springs 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, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (719) 822-1229.