If you are an adult child caring for a Michigan senior, you may be struggling to juggle the responsibilities of caring for a loved one, your career and your own family. It is a balancing act that can create stress, anxiety and health problems for caregivers.
In fact, a 2010 Gallup poll highlighted just how much of a negative impact caring for a senior loved one can have on the caregiver’s own health. Caregivers who work outside the home are more likely to experience high blood pressure, recurring neck, back or knee pain, headaches and more. If these symptoms sound a little too familiar, it may be time to make your own health a priority in 2015.
Tips for a Healthier 2015 for Caregivers
Here are a few healthy resolutions you can make to get 2015 off to a good start:
- Review your priorities. Caregiving on its own can be a full-time job. When you have a job and a family, it might seem as if there aren’t enough hours in the day. Begin 2015 by deciding what your top three priorities are for the year. If your current obligations and commitments don’t fall in line with your priorities, it may be time to give them up. Think about the responsibilities you have that aren’t helping you accomplish one of your priorities or those activities you do that aren’t bringing you joy. Find ways to give at least a few of those up in 2015.
- Ask for and accept help. Make 2015 the year you accept that you really can’t do it all. Then explore your options for help. It might be by calling your church or synagogue to see if they have friendly visitor programs whereby volunteers provide companionship to area seniors. Explore local respite services. Respite care can be provided through in-home care aides, assisted living communities or at adult day centers. Hire a home care agency to help your senior loved one with bathing and dressing three days a week. If money is an issue, your community’s agency on aging might have resources that can help. In Michigan, you can find your local office at Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.
- Make time for exercise. This is a tough one for many people to manage and doubly so for caregivers. Newer research shows that thirty minutes of exercise performed most days of the week should be your goal. The good news is that you reap the same benefits if you break exercise down in to ten minute increments as you would receive if you exercised for thirty minutes straight. When you think of it that way, it is much easier to fit exercise in to your daily routine.
We hope these tips help you take better care of you in 2015!
The Village of Appledorn West in Holland is now open! If you or a senior loved one would like to tour our independent living apartments or learn more about our assisted living community that will open in the spring of 2015, please stop by or call us at (616) 846-4700.