With 80 percent of caregivers reporting high levels of stress and 17 percent of caregivers saying their health worsened while providing care, it is 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. For more on the importance of caring for yourself, read our book Put Your Mask On First!
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.