Being a family caregiver is hard work, there’s no denying that. But if you’re ignoring your own needs, that can make caregiving even more difficult. If you’re planning to be there for your elderly family member as much as you can, it’s vital that you’re taking the best possible care of yourself, too.
Check Your Own Diet
Often when someone is busy and facing a lot of challenges, they forget about eating healthy foods. But your body needs nutrition just as much as your senior’s body needs it. If you’re grabbing just whatever you can get your hands on, and sporadically, your body might not be getting the energy it needs to keep you going. Try looking at your own diet the same way you would your senior’s diet. That might encourage you to eat better.
That Means Water, Too
How’s your hydration? You probably spend a fair bit of time worried about getting your senior to drink enough water, but if you’re not doing the same for yourself you have a problem brewing. Try to avoid over caffeinating yourself and make sure you’re getting plenty of water throughout your day. If it helps, every time you remind your senior to drink water, do so yourself. You can keep each other hydrated.
Prioritize Good Sleep
If you’re not sleeping well, your brain and your body are bound to stay exhausted. When you make good sleep a priority, you’re more likely to make decisions that support getting the rest you need. If that feels impossible to you, it might be time to consider bringing in home care providers so that you can get some more time to rest.
Exercise sounds exhausting, until you give it a try and realize that it helps to give you better energy. It can also help you to sleep better and might encourage you to stick with your hydration and better eating goals. Make sure that you’re safe to exercise by talking to your own doctor and take changes slowly to give yourself time to get used to moving more.
Hire Home Care Providers
You’re not meant to do everything all by yourself, even if it feels as if that’s the case. Elder care providers can make life easier and safer for your senior, which can take a lot of the pressure off of you. And as mentioned previously, when home care providers are there with your aging family member, you can focus on taking time away when you need to. That’s an essential part of being a family caregiver that is often overlooked. You need time to yourself so that you can recharge.
If some of this advice sounds familiar, you might have heard it when you were trying to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your senior happy and healthy. And the reality is, that’s great advice for anyone. But if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re going to have a much more difficult time taking care of your elderly family member.