Are you maintaining your health as a caregiver?

Lisa Wurth

June 4, 2012

As a caregiver, you can't forget about your own health!It's no secret that being a caregiver for an elderly relative is stressful. From doctor's appointments to medications to entertainment, there are many tasks that need to be taken care of each day. However, just because you're busy with your loved one doesn't mean you should forget about your own health. To keep yourself fit both mentally and physically, here are some tips to consider while you're carrying out your duties.

Don't forget about your social life
While interacting with your relative may be enough to keep you from being lonely, it's important not to forget about your other friends and family. Make a point to call these people every once in awhile and schedule a few fun activities, like a dinner, a trip to the movies or even just chatting over coffee.

Keep up your exercise routine
You may think that you're too busy to set aside any time for physical activity, but there are plenty of ways you can free up 10 minutes here or there. Get your loved one involved with an activity like a book, a television show or a video game, then try a couple of strength training moves, go for a walk or do some jumping jacks. A medical alert system from Bay Alarm might also give you the peace of mind that you need to leave your loved one on his or her own. At the push of a button, the medical alarm device will put your relative in contact with an emergency response team.

Maintain a healthy diet
When you're short on time, you might not be eating the best food choices possible. If you're constantly eating on the go or tend to skip meals every now and then, you're doing yourself a disservice. While you're prepping your loved one's meals, make sure to cook enough for yourself, too. Because you'll likely be providing him or her with a balanced diet, you can also benefit from the food.

Get plenty of rest
If you're always tired, you're probably not doing yourself or your relative any favors. It's important to be alert as much as possible when you're a caregiver, which means you must get plenty of rest. If this means going to bed a bit earlier, waking up a little later or even taking a small vacation every now and then, you should find ways to make it happen for you and your loved one's sake.