According to the Institute on Aging, more than 75 percent of all caregivers are female, and can spend as much as 50 percent more time providing care to a loved one than males. Since females shoulder most of the burden of care when it comes to caring for others, we would like to formally celebrate May, which is Women’s Health Care Month by focusing on some of the things that can be done to achieve better health during this time. If you, as a family caregiver, are in your top form, then it will become easier for you to help your loved ones. Your health should always be a priority, both mentally and physically. Many women put off caring for themselves as they adjust their daily routines to care for others, and this combination can lead to health problems for women. Let us support you, by providing some timesaving tips and tricks to keep your health a priority this month!
Don’t Forget Your Annual Check-Up
Preventative care can help you screen for issues that you may have missed during the pandemic. Yearly health screenings ensure that you catch common problems while they are still very treatable. If you miss an important health screening, then your degrading health will surely impact your ability to care for others, so it is important to get these done.
Finally, your annual check-up is important so that you can discuss your mental and physical health concerns with your doctor, let your physician know what you are handling in your daily life so that they can recommend resources and tools that can help you. These recommendations can include vitamins, supplements, dietary assistance to help with mood and energy, and an exercise regimen that is designed for you specifically.
Try A New Way to Exercise
Move and maintain your weight your own way! Get creative when it comes to lowering your risk of stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Join a morning walk group, check out a new Yoga class or join a group at your local fitness center. Not only will the increased exercise improve your energy, but it will help you improve your mental clarity as well.
If you feel like you don’t have time, then don’t forget to talk to your doctor about your health goals and get help creating a plan that is specific for you. This can include a couple of different five-minute workouts in the middle of the day when you are taking a break, or a brisk walk around the block before or after your lunch break. As a family caregiver, you will want to engage muscles that you aren’t using regularly so that you can ensure that you stay healthy.
Remember to Stay Nourished from The Inside Out
You can’t hardly browse tips and tricks without running into this one, but a well-balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do to maintain the energy and health you need to care for others. Doing this can be hard when your time seems consumed with the thoughts and actions of providing assistance to your loved one, but if you are caring for yourself, you will have more energy to care for others.
Are you aware that your body absorbs more vitamins and minerals from the consumption of food, than it does from supplements? Don’t depend on your supplements to provide the majority of the nutrition you need to stay healthy. Make sure that you are eating heart-healthy meals that contain plenty of fruits and vegetables. To save time, consider prepping your meals at the same time that you prepare meals for your loved one.
Practice Plenty of Self-Care
Even if you are going to your annual check up at the doctor, have all of your vaccinations, and are doing everything in your power to maintain a healthy weight and eat properly, your mental health can suffer. The stress and anxiety that comes from providing assistance to a loved one as their health degrades can be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help!
Browse our website for resources to educate you on what you can expect as a caregiver, find support groups in your area so that you have people who understand what you are going through to give you a community, and finally just find time to spend with friends. Respite care can give you freedom during the day that allows you peace of mind to know that your loved one is taken care of, while you take some time for yourself. Rest, recharge, and practice self-care so that you are able to come back to caregiving with a clear and patient mind.
Contact Homewatch CareGivers of Ellicott City for more information or for ways we can help you reach your goals to enjoy some time for self-care.