Caregivers are at increased risk for having multiple chronic diseases as they may neglect their own personal health needs while providing care to others.
Not just elderly caregivers put their health and well-being at risk. Generation X who have taken on the job of parent-caregiver while balancing employment and parenting teenagers run the risk of developing depression, chronic illnesses, and a probable deterioration in the quality of life.
However, despite these dangers, family carers are less likely to engage in preventive healthcare and self-care behaviors than non-caregivers of any age. Caregivers report difficulties maintaining their health and well-being while handling caring obligations, regardless of age, sex, color, or ethnicity. They state:
- Lack of sleep
- Unhealthy eating
- Lack of exercise
- Not resting or taking time off when sick
- Postpone own medical appointments
One of the most crucial things you can do as a caregiver is to take care of yourself. Maintaining your personal health and well-being depends on it. You can better care for your loved one when you’re feeling better.
10 Self-Care Tips for Caregivers
In honor of National Family Caregiver Appreciation Month, here are the best things caregivers can do to take care of themselves as they care for others.
- Seek support when you need it
It’s important to remember that you are not alone! Seek support and help, especially from other caregivers, as soon as you feel you need it.
- Accept help when offered
Similarly, don’t reject help when it is offered to you. Don’t be afraid to suggest specific things you need help with, for example, making meals or driving to appointments.
- Communicate effectively
Whether it is doctors or family members, learn how to communicate effectively. It may help to keep a notebook and write things down to keep your thoughts organized.
- Stay healthy
Remember not to neglect your own health. You need to stay strong to take care of others.
- Know signs of depression
Watch for signs of depression in yourself. Get professional help right away if you need it.
- Take breaks
Remember that caregiving can be difficult. Hard work means you need to take breaks and regroup.
- Update legal documents
Make sure documents like a Living Will and Power of Attorney are up to date. Keep these somewhere easy to find to reduce stress.
- Use technology
Don’t be afraid to get help from the latest technologies. It may make caring for your loved one easier.
- Keep medical information organized
Ensure all medication is available and easy to find.
- Be proud of yourself
A caregiver’s life isn’t easy. Give yourself a hand for doing such a difficult job.
When you are a caregiver, remember that it is not selfish to focus on your own needs and wants – it is an essential aspect of the job. You are in charge of taking care of yourself.
Contact us today at 718-618-6933 to learn more about how we can help you.