Life as a caregiver isn't always easy, but a new year presents the opportunity for a new beginning. Consider these realistic resolutions for 2019.
This Year, Care For Yourself Too
The New Year brings a fresh start. For many people, that means setting new goals. Now is the perfect time to put yourself back on the priority list so you can get the self-care you need and deserve.
It’s natural for caregivers to put themselves last, but this habit is harmful to health – the consequences of unchecked caregiver stress are serious. Statistics show that it can cause serious chronic illness and higher rates of early death. The ongoing stress can also negatively affect mood and relationships.
We share 3 self-care goals that protect your health and well-being along with suggestions for how to make them happen. This allows you to rest and recharge so you can sustain caregiving in the long run without damaging your own health.
3 New Year’s Goals For Caregivers
1. Get help so you’re not doing everything by yourself
Put together a caregiving team of family, friends, and/or local resources
Ask family or friends to help with your older adult – hands-on care, providing companionship, managing finances, doing research, running errands, doing chores, etc.
Hire a geriatric care manager to help solve tough care challenges
Get help or relax your standards for time-consuming chores like cleaning or cooking
2. Take time for yourself every day
Take micro breaks throughout the day – it’s an effective way to reduce stress when you’re short on time
Do a 2 minute meditation, breathing exercise, or calming exercise
Improve circulation and reduce stress with an easy 4 minute workout
Escape from reality with a great book, magazine, or audiobook
Connect with friends – phone calls, video chats, coffee, or a meal
Relax your body and get some fresh air with a casual stroll around the block
Do something (anything!) just for you. Everyone needs regular me time.
3. Schedule regular breaks
Get someone to sit with your older adult while you go out (or take a nap) – ask family, friends, volunteers from local service or religious organizations, or try the Senior Companions program
Hire an in-home caregiver for a few hours each week
Convince family members to take over on a regular basis
Enroll your older adult in an adult day program
Use local respite care programs
These goals and suggestions are meant to inspire creative thinking to help you find solutions that will give you time for self-care. As the saying goes, “…you can’t pour from an empty cup.” The more your own needs are met, the better caregiver you can be to your older adult.
If you would like more information about Memory Matter respite programs and services call us at: 435-319-0407 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org