November is National Family Caregivers Month. Quite often caregiving can be a 24/7 job, especially if you are a caregiver for a child or someone with Alzheimer’s. Many caregivers are women with children and full-time jobs. They have to get kids off to school, get to work and still manage their own household while taking care of the needs of someone else who relies upon them almost entirely. Sometimes this person may live in their own home or in some cases, caregivers have a loved one living with them.
There are ways to manage your life and take care of yourself while caregiving:
- Try to remember the first rule, always take care of yourself first. If you are well rested, free of stress and feel good, you’re better able to take care of the needs of someone else.
- Practice preventative healthcare and self-care. If you don’t attend to your most important needs and look after yourself, your quality of life can quickly decline.
- Get enough sleep. Just as with newborns, if you have to, sleep while your patient or loved one is sleeping. Sleep deprivation can lead to a slower response time which puts both you and your loved one in danger.
- Eat well. Caregivers plan and make meals for those they are caregiving for. Double up and make meals for both of you. Eat your meals while they are eating if they are able to feed themselves.
- Stay physically active. Even a walk each day can keep you in shape. It will also help you sleep better.
- Don’t forget your own medical appointments. If you are ill, rest. Stay in bed if you can.
For many caregivers it is the lack of breaks or someone to take over that causes most problems. Full time caregiving for a family member without any help can and will make you ill. To read more about Family Caregivers Month and how you can live better while caregiving, click here.
The Team at Seniors Lifestyle Care can also help with any caregiving needs you may have!