Being a family caregiver to an older adult with cancer can be stressful and tiring. In addition to the physical work of being a caregiver, there are also emotional consequences to the role. You may spend a lot of time worrying about your aging relative’s health and what the future holds. Over time, many caregivers experience a decline in health because of the stress of the job or because they don’t make time to take care of themselves. If you’re noticing your emotional or physical health isn’t as good as it once was, below are 5 tips that can help.
1. Eat Right and Exercise.
Eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Avoid grabbing fast food meals or processed foods because they are easy. They contain a lot of salt, fat, and sugar. Instead, when you cook a healthy meal for your aging relative, make food for yourself, too.
Exercise is also important for caregiver health. It helps to relieve stress, boost mood, and keeps your body healthy. Make time to go for a walk, go to the gym, or another physical activity that you enjoy.
2. Join a Support Group.
There are plenty of support groups out there for caregivers and even specifically for cancer caregivers. A support group is a great place for you to talk about how being a caregiver makes you feel. It’s a safe space, so you don’t have to be afraid to express your negative feelings, too.
3. Take Time to Do the Things You Enjoy.
Caregivers often give up activities and hobbies they enjoy because they don’t have time for them. That can leave you feeling sad and like being a cancer caregiver has taken over your life. Build time to do the things you enjoy into your schedule. If you have difficulty finding time, ask a friend or family member to sit with the older adult for an hour or two while you take time for yourself.
4. Stay in Touch with Friends.
Don’t neglect the other relationships in your life. Even a 10-minute phone call to catch up with a friend can improve your mood and leave you feeling refreshed. You can also use social media to keep up with friends and families.
5. Get Help.
If you find it difficult to make time to take care of yourself or feel overwhelmed by your caregiver duties, it may be time to get help. Home care agencies can assign staff members to fill in the gaps in your loved one’s care schedule when you cannot be there or when you need a break.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Monticello, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida