May is Family Wellness Month and if you are a family caregiver, taking care of an aging parent, for example, you may have begun to realize just how much time this is taking out of your life. You might even be completely overwhelmed with stress and anxiety just because you have become a family caregiver.
The more care and support a person requires, the more pressure it places on their primary support system. You may have begun to realize that your health is taking a turn for the worse. You might not be exercising like you normally did. Your diet may be poor. You might be grabbing fast food more frequently because you simply don’t have time to do anything else.
There are things you can do that can help. Here are a few things that can help you stay healthy this month, whether you’re taking care of an elderly parent, spouse, sibling, disabled adult child, or anyone else.
Consider hiring assistance.
A home care aide or series of caregivers is a great asset for just about anyone who needs support throughout the day. You can hire a home care aide through an agency for just two hours one or two days a week to start.
That could be more than enough for you to stay focused on exercise, preparing healthy meals, and having some all-important down time for your emotional state of mind.
As long as this person who requires assistance has been given the green light to exercise by their doctor, this can be a wonderful activity for both of you. That senior is not likely going to be able to do the same things you can, but if you exercise together it offers encouragement to everyone involved.
Understand your limitations.
If you want to take care of yourself and remain healthy and well, you need to understand your limits. A person who pushes themselves way beyond their personal limitations is not taking care of themselves properly.
It’s easy to feel like this is your responsibility or have feelings of guilt if you even consider no longer taking care of him or her, but if your limits have been exceeded for too long, it will have a serious and negative impact on the rest of your life.
This senior may want nothing more than good conversation every once in a while. While you are focused on helping them clean, cook, go to the store, do laundry, and so much more, you may be missing out on a wonderful opportunity to simply have a conversation that offers companionship, understanding, and love. That’s a great way for families to stay healthy and well.