Guest Post- Caregiving by Kristin Palardy
Today Kristin Palardy from Rescue Alert of California writes on caregiving.
Caregiving is something that millions of Americans struggle with every day, in addition to holding full-time jobs and maintaining their own homes and families. Unfortunately, the stress and extra burdens that caregivers take on will affect not only their moods and make them tired, but will negatively impact their health. The following five items are just some ways caregivers can ensure that they are taking care of themselves mentally and physically:
- Learn to “let it go”: Don’t let little things get to you- if your house isn’t always spotless, or your meals aren’t gourmet masterpieces, don’t let it get you down. You work hard and do your best, and that’s the best you can do. Obsessing over things that don’t end up perfect will only cause you unnecessary stress, and a high stress level can cause your health to quickly deteriorate.
- Know your loved one’s condition: Research and keep up-to-date on the latest news and research on the condition your loved one is living with. This will not only make you a more effective and efficient caregiver, but it will allow you to feel good about the level of care you are providing.
- Make time for you: Taking time for yourself is a great way to relax, and can be great for mental and physical health. Use this time not only to relax, but to watch your own health—eat healthy, keep up on your exercises, and get the daily recommended amount of sleep if you possibly can. The positive health benefits of a good nights sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet are overwhelming and can make all the difference.
- Get Help! Use adult day care, a maid service, in home care facilities, or even other family members to relieve some of the burden on yourself. You don’t have to do everything. Others in your family want to help, but they may not know how. If someone asks “Is there anything I can do?” don’t dismiss them: Give them a shopping list, or ask them to watch your loved one for an hour while you go out to lunch.
- Find other caregivers: Support groups both online and in person exist everywhere for caregiver stress relief. Vent your frustrations, ask questions, and voice concerns amongst those who know exactly what you’re going through. This bonding and open dialogue will help to relieve some of the stress associated with caregiving.Rescue Alert of California provides medical alert services for all 50 states. They also have a blog filled with handy tips for caregivers. Visit them at http://rescuealertofca.com/Lisa