Providing care for an elderly or ill spouse, parent or other loved one is a noble and loving thing to do and one of the toughest jobs there is! In fact, more than 65 million people, or 29% of this country’s population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year, spending an average of 20 hours per week providing care.
In order to remain an effective and patient care giver, it’s also important to take time to care for yourself, according to the home health care specialists with Comfort Health in Rochester, MN. After all, a caregiver’s physical, emotional and mental health is vital to the health of the person they’re taking care of.
One excellent way to take care of yourself is to enlist the help of Comfort Health’s well-trained and compassionate home health aides to take care of your loved one while you take a break. Scheduling a daily, twice-weekly or weekly visit from one of our home health aides will give you the opportunity to visit friends, catch up on errands or maybe simply take a nap. Regardless of what you do with your time during these breaks, you’ll be refreshed and recharged and ready to face the challenges of providing care for your loved one.
In addition to scheduling regular home health care visits for your loved one, here are other strategies to help you stay healthy and sustained:
•Take care of your own body. This means keeping your own doctor appointments, seeking help when you don’t feel well, staying well-hydrated, eating a nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep and exercise. The stress of care giving can lead some people to develop or increase unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
•Watch out for signs of depression and get professional help when you need it. Signs of depression to watch out for include feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, appetite or weight changes, self-loathing, sleep changes, loss of energy, and anger or irritability.
•Accept offers of help from friends and family members and suggest specific things they can do to assist you.
•Make an effort to stay engaged socially and intellectually. Steps such as going to church, reading a book, or carving out time to talk on the phone with a good friend every week can help.
•Join a caregiver support group. To find a group, ask your doctor or your local area agency on agency. Several online support groups are available, too.
Comfort Health provides high-quality home health aides and skilled nursing in the Rochester, MN, area. Call 800-204-2332 for more information today.