5 Essential Tips for Caregiver Health
by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership
Caregivers must care for themselves first.
We’re kicking off National Family Caregiver’s Month with 5 essential health tips for every caregiver, excerpted from our “25 Healthy Tips for Caregivers” featured on Twitter and Pinterest.
With 80 percent of caregivers reporting a high level of stress and 17 percent of caregivers saying their health worsened while providing care, it’s important to focus on caregiver health. Being a family caregiver requires a high level of compassion and personal sacrifice, and it’s easy to neglect one’s own health and interests.
Here are 5 easy-follow tips essential for the physical and emotional health of any caregiver:
- Weeks are more manageable when daily caregiving tasks are categorized into what needs to be done now, what can wait, what can be done by someone else, and what really does not have to be done.
Caregivers are more effective when committed to their own health. Monday is a great time to focus on health goals for the week and maintain the momentum to make real changes.
Time-outs are essential to personal health. Physical cues like feeling hungry, angry, weary or isolated can be signs a caregiver is burning out and needs to take time for his or her own well being.
Move It Monday, also known as Caregiver Monday, is a great time to take a break from caregiving. Exercise helps recharge mind and muscle, even if it’s just 30 minutes of activity.
- Everyone needs a little support sometimes, so caregivers should tell family members when help is needed and when they’re expected to pitch in.
The healthiest, happiest caregivers often have a support system in place, which may include online libraries and social communities, and services like meals delivery and respite care.