Caregiving is a job that takes its toll even on the most patient, most energetic and the wisest, whether or not it’s not a full-time job. It is draining, physically, mentally and emotionally. If you’re a caregiver for an older person, remember to take care of yourself, or you won’t be able to take care of someone else. These tips for self-care are not a comprehensive list. But if you need a quick reference or a refresher on taking care of yourself, refer to this and then add your own creative and satisfying ideas for self-care.
1. Take care of yourself physically
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Exercise. A brisk walk counts.
- Get enough rest. Try a bowl of Cheerios and milk before bed to promote sleep.
- Reduce daily caffeine intake.
- Avoid noisy and/or tension-filled movies at night, as well as the late news.
2. Take advantage of your resources
- Let family and friends help. Give them printed material on memory disorders so they can better understand your relative. Give them a chance.
- Explore community resources and connect yourself with them.
- Get professional help if you feel your support system isn't adequate or if you feel overwhelmed.
3. Talk with someone every day. Don’t remain isolated from others.
4. Give yourself permission to have a good cry. Tears aren't a weakness; they reduce tension.
5. Take a break very day, even if it's only 10 minutes alone in the backyard.
6. Listen to music.
7. Learn relaxation techniques.
8. Regularly attend one or more support groups and education workshops.
9. Give yourself a treat at least once a month -- an ice cream cone, a new shirt or dress, a night out with friends, a flowering plant.
10. Last but not least, find something to laugh about every day.
Hidden Meadows on the Ridge is a senior care community in Upper Bucks' County, less than 30 miles north of Philadelphia. With 54 private and shared living studies, Hidden Meadows on the Ridge provides a peaceful setting where seniors can maintain their independence while having access to professional personalized services and nursing care. Hidden Meadows on the Ridge is a pet friendly community. The Laurels, our newly designed memory care residence, offers 48 private or shared rooms. Tucked in the beautiful, serene Bucks County countryside, Hidden Meadows on the Ridge understands and addresses seniors’ concerns of preserving their independence while maintaining their physical health and safety, and mental health and providing peace of mind for family members and caregivers. See http://www.hiddenmeadowsontheridge.com/