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Nutrition Guidelines for Family Caregiver Health

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Optimal health can be achieved for family caregivers with proper nutrition, healthy habits, and a reliable support system. Adequate nutrition can also enhance the relationship you have with your aging parent. Here are some simple nutrition tips that can help you maintain good health as a family caregiver.

Avoid Sugary Beverages

When you drink soda and other sugary beverages, the liquid calories don’t register with the brain in the same way as calories from solid foods. As a result, you’ll consume more calories and increase the odds of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are severe conditions that could cause you to become ill and need medical attention, preventing you from providing adequate care to your parent. Therefore, you need to drink more water and avoid sugary beverages. In addition to water, you can drink ginger tea, vegetable drinks, and high-protein drinks. 

Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Colorado Springs, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Stay Away from Processed Junk Food

Caregiving can be stressful and cause individuals to look for ways to manage their anxiety. Many caregivers often turn to unhealthy substances to handle the negative side of caregiving. Processed junk food can be addictive for family caregivers because the foods offer a temporary mood boost that tricks the brain into thinking they need more to eat. Avoid emotionally eating processed foods. You should also make time for meal prep to avoid eating these addicting foods. 

Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and hiring a home caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care services. Colorado Springs families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Add More Fatty Fish to the Diet

Caregivers spend a significant amount of time with their loved ones each week, and in many instances, it leaves them feeling stressed and vulnerable. Following an unhealthy diet can cause stress levels to increase and lead to serious health issues, such as depression. The good news is that the omega-3 fatty acids found in some fish can fight against free radicals and stress hormones that increase the risk of depression. Eating oily fish can boost your mood and help you avoid behavioral challenges associated with caregiving. The best fatty fish to eat are salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

Consume Plenty of Vitamins

Vitamins are essential nutrients caregivers should eat because of the many roles they play in bodily functions. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamins can boost bone health and convert food into energy. Functional mobility and muscle strength are essential for family caregivers, as is healthy metabolism. As a family caregiver, you may need to lift large items, such as furniture and medical equipment. Therefore, you need to preserve your bone health. Good metabolism is also necessary because caring for a senior can take a lot of energy. A healthy metabolism can also enhance physical functions and allow you to maintain optimal health as you care for yourself and your parent.

It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, remember you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. 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 Colorado Springs in-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 aren’t able to provide. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (719) 822-1229 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.