Healthy Caregiver Resolutions for 2014
Caregivers have a tough job. They juggle their own family’s needs and often a busy career all while caring for an aging loved one. A 2010 Gallup poll found caregivers who work outside the home are more likely to have high blood pressure, recurring neck, back or knee pain. If this sounds familiar, consider making some healthier caregiver resolutions for 2014. Here are a few pointers to help you start the New Year right:
* Review your priorities. This can be the most beneficial thing you do to help yourself manage all of your responsibilities. Decide what your top 3 or 4 priorities are. If your current obligations and commitments don’t fall in line with those, it may be time to give them up. For example, if you always play cards on Thursday night because your colleagues want you to but you’ve really never enjoyed it, make this the year to graciously excuse yourself.
Think about what else you do that isn’t a priority or an activity you enjoy and find a way to give it up.
* Accept help. It might be from a variety of different sources but make 2014 the year you accept that you really can’t do it all. Call your church or religious organization to see if they have any friendly visitor programs that could send a volunteer out to help your loved one an afternoon a week. Explore respite programs. Respite care can be provided by in-home care aides, assisted living communities or at adult day centers. Hire a home care agency to help with bathing and dressing each day. If money is an issue, your local agency on aging might have resources that can help. You can also hire a geriatric care manager to help you develop a plan for managing your loved one’s needs.
* Relax your standards. Most caregivers are females who have a home of their own to manage. If you have always prided yourself on having the cleanest house on the block, allow yourself to compromise on that while you are a caregiver. Or consider hiring some outside help if your budget permits.
* Carve out time for exercise. Many caregivers know how important it is to stay healthy but in a busy day, exercise sometimes doesn’t seem to fit in to the schedule. Research has shown that 30 minutes of exercise performed most days of the week should be your goal. The good news is that you reap the same rewards if you break that down in to 10 minute increments. When you think of it that way, it is much easier to work it in most days.
We hope these tips have given you some things to think about as we head in to 2014. Best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy New Year!
From personal care needs and case management to guardianship concerns, Seniors in Transition provides consulting services to help families turn frustrating health care problems into quality, affordable solutions. Seniors in Transition is here to help families in the Fort Collins, CO and Loveland, CO areas. Visit our website at www.seniorsintrans.com or call 970.204.6977, today.