Update on Coronavirus / COVID-19 and senior safety, click here for more information.

Ways for Family Caregivers to Maintain Their Own Health

By , 9:00 am on

One of the worst mistakes family caregivers can make is pushing their own needs to the side. To provide high-quality care, they must be in good mental, physical, and emotional shape. Continue reading to learn some of the ways family caregivers can maintain their health without compromising the wellbeing of their senior loved ones.

Eat Well

Following a healthy diet can boost your energy levels and prevent fatigue. You should choose fruits and vegetables that are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and wholesome nutrients. Eating well-balanced meals can also lower the risk of depression, which is common among family caregivers. If you’re unsure of which foods to eat, talk with your family physician, who can recommend a proper diet that keeps you in good shape.

Do Some Research

Caregiving is often demanding, but there are steps you can take to make the role less taxing. For instance, you can speak with your loved one’s medical providers to learn more about his or her current health conditions. A nurse or doctor can tell you what changes to make to your parent’s daily schedule and home environment. The objective of doing research is to obtain a better understanding of the aging process and learn what it takes to develop a proper care plan, which can make your role less stressful.

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. Cleveland 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.

Make Time to Do Things You Enjoy

Your loved one’s health limitations shouldn’t affect your personal and professional life. You may need to sacrifice time to care for your parent, but you should never isolate yourself from friends or give up on your goals and aspirations. Ask other family members to step in and help with your loved one’s care so you can continue doing purposeful activities that bring you joy. Failing to socialize or work toward your goals could increase your risk of depression, aggression, and resentment.

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 at-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.

Learn to Say No

There may be aspects of the caregiving process that make you feel uncomfortable, which is why you should determine what you’re willing to do as soon as you take on the role. For instance, if feeding and bathing are tasks that make you uncomfortable, you have the right to say no. Ask others to help with these duties, or consider using home care services. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad caregiver—it allows you to set boundaries and enhances your mental and emotional health.

Join a Caregiver Support Group

Having people to lean on is crucial for family caregivers, especially when they care for elderly loved ones with chronic conditions. The caregiver role can become overwhelming, but having emotional support from a network of family, friends, and mentors allows you to share your feelings honestly and without guilt. When you join a caregiver support group, you’re surrounded by people in similar situations, and some group members may be healthcare volunteers or professionals who can share essential information and tips that can make your role less challenging and more enjoyable.

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 Cleveland 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. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (440) 332-0170.

Home Care Assistance Awards