Family Caregivers Need Care Too

If you’re caring for an aging parent or facing the challenges of assisting a loved one or friend who is chronically ill, disabled or elderly, you are not alone. You are one of the 22 million Americans who care for an older adult.

Caregivers are at increased risk for heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases, as well as an increased risk for anxiety and depression.

It’s Not Easy to Tell Your Parents What to Do

The most difficult thing about caring for a parent is the day you have to tell them they need to have help, they can no longer drive or they may have to move from their home. Discuss long-term care wishes and desires before any decline happens.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

We tend to wait until we are in crisis before asking for help and consultation. Seek out the help of another family member, friend, or hire a professional caregiver to offer some relief.

Stay Informed

We live in a world of constant change. Medications and treatments are constantly changing and the only way to keep up-to-date is to stay informed with the latest news. Attend local caregiver conferences, participate in support groups, speak with friends and relatives, and talk with professionals in the field of gerontology and geriatrics.

Exercise and eat healthy

Incorporate a minimum of 20 minutes a day of exercise.  This can include a short walk, a bike ride, or a work-out. Eat balanced, nutritious meals.  Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, 8 is even better.

Take Time For You

Caregivers who experience feelings of burnout need to accept that occasionally they may need a break from their loved one in order to provide him or her with the best care.  Some suggestions to help relieve stress:  Plan a day trip to one of Louisville’s many museums, enjoy the races at Churchill Downs, or spend a day in Oldham County shopping on Main Street.

Laugh Often

Humor and laughter are tremendous healers. Enjoy lunch with friends, go see a comedy, relax and read a humorous book.  Laughter really is the best medicine.

For more information family caregivers, please call us at 502-240-6464.